Defense: Ex-SC State trustee defrauded no one

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Monday, June 16, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- An attorney for a former South Carolina State University trustee facing public corruption charges says his client did not profit from any of the schemes in which prosecutors allege he was involved.

Jim Griffin told jurors during opening statements Monday that his client, Jonathan Pinson, is businessman with a family and is not guilty of defrauding anyone.

The former trustee is accused of racketeering and fraud, as well as trying to get the Orangeburg university to buy land from a Florida developer in exchange for a Porsche SUV for himself as a thank-you gift.

The government is seeking a 22-year prison sentence. Officials estimate the trial will take three weeks.

Six people charged in the case have pleaded guilty and are expected to testify against Pinson.

(Copyright 2014. The Associated Press.)

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