Former member of Maryland Michael L. Vaughn was sentenced to 48 months in Federal prison. He was found guilty of taking a bribe in exchange for votes that were supposed to expand sales of alcoholic beverages in Prince George County.
The jury found Vaughn guilty of conspiracy and bribery. During a six-day trial in U.S. district court in Maryland, Vaughn and his lawyers argued that the cash packages he received from liquor store owners and lobbyist in 2015 and 2016 were contributions to his campaign as he had personal financial problems, the Washington Post reports.
However, government prosecutors claimed that more than 15 thousand dollars, which he passed in cafes, restaurants and other places around the County, were bribes.
In his first public remarks on the case, when he resigned from the legislature last year, 60-year-old Vaughn stated that He was “devastated by the pain” he caused and wanted to “offer sincere apologies” to his family and voters.
Judge Paula Sinis during sentencing called misconduct Won “extremely serious” or “severe bribery”.
Vaughn was one of seven arrested last year in a Federal corruption case that investigators called “dry cabin Exploitation.” Shopkeepers, lobbyists, former liquor commissioners, and former County Councilman George William Campos conspired to pass a law that would allow the sale of Sunday alcoholic beverages in the County in exchange for cash.
Vaughn served in the legislature for 14 years, starting in 2003, and resigned before the 2017 session, shortly after the alcohol investigation was initiated.
Vaughn was the only defendant who went to court with his case. The other defendants pleaded guilty, and most of them were convicted.
Attorneys Vaughn, William Purpura and Teresa every single, claimed that voted for the adoption of the law, lifts the ban on the Sunday sale of alcoholic beverages, as the County lost tax revenues.
Vaughn was also accused of sending more than $ 100,000 in donations to his company. The jury never believed that these frauds were connected because the charges were separated from the bribery and corruption case.