Several counts against a South Carolina State University trustee accused of corruption have been dismissed by federal prosecutors a week before the scheduled trial.
Five counts were dismissed Wednesday against Jonathan Pinson, including two counts of wire fraud, one count of money laundering and one count of making false statements to federal investigators, according to court records.
One count of making false statements to investigators was also dismissed against Eric Robinson, a codefendant in the case.
Prosecutors contend Pinson received a "kickback" from Robinson for securing a contract to manage the 2011 S.C. State homecoming concert through WE Entertainment, where Robinson is a partner.
The dismissal of charges was made during a pretrial conference; a plea offer was also filed in the case, court records stated.
The offer, however, was sealed and Pinson's attorney could not be reached for comment.
Robinson's attorney, Shaun Kent said his client did not accept the plea offer.
"Any plea offer would be an admission of guilt and he's just not guilty," Kent said.
Nancy Wicker, the Assistant U.S. Attorney prosecuting the case, declined to comment on the filing.
Wicker, however, said the trial against Pinson and Robinson will begin Monday and is expected to last two or three weeks.
Prosecutors are seeking a sentence of about 22 years in prison for Pinson.
The former trustee is accused of racketeering and fraud, as well as trying to get the university to buy land from a Florida developer in exchange for a Porsche SUV for himself as a thank-you gift.
Court documents state Pinson was involved in the land sale conspiracy which ran between 2010 and late 2011.
Federal investigators placed a wire tap on Pinson's phone and intercepted several calls in the fall of 2011 that documented the scheme, prosecutors have said.
Authorities put a stop to the deal before it could go forward, saving the university's money, according to prosecutors.
Six people have pleaded guilty and are expected to testify in next week's trial.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Reach Natalie Caula Hauff at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.
Notice about comments:
The Post and Courier is pleased to offer readers the enhanced ability to comment on stories. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point.