Most Bereano convictions are upheld

January 24, 1995|By Tanya Jones | Tanya Jones,Sun Staff Writer

A federal judge upheld the bulk of Bruce Bereano's mail fraud convictions today, throwing out only one of the eight convictions against the Annapolis lobbyist.

Judge William M. Nickerson again called the government's case against Bereano "thin and obscure," but he said there was enough to the convince the jury of his guilt.

Lawyers for Bereano, who was convicted Nov. 30 on eight counts of mail fraud, argued for an hour that the government failed to prove that the lobbyist defrauded his clients.

"You can't have a fraud without a victim," said Stuart R. Berger, one of Bereano's lawyers. "There are cases when juries quite simply get it wrong, and this is one of those cases."

The judge agreed with the 15-minute response by the government.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Dale P. Kelberman said that Bereano's clients did not have to recognize his false billings as fraud for him to be convicted.

Bereano faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each of the eight mail-fraud counts when sentenced April 21.

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