Former Sheriff Buncich Likely to be Resentenced

“For the foregoing reasons, the Court should vacate Buncich’s convictions on Counts 1 through 3, affirm the convictions on Counts 4 through 6, and remand for resentencing” Brief of US Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch

December 21, 2018-Former Sheriff John Buncich is likely to be resentenced, after Defense Attorney Kerry Connor argued that there was insufficient evidence for conviction. Connor, a former federal defender, argued that the alleged wire fraud and the alleged wrongful acts were so remote, they could not be related. The wire fraud allegations consisted of bank transfers related to sheriff’s department payroll records. Attorney Connor strenously argued in her brief that all 5 counts of wire fraud should be dismissed because the wire transfers were remote in time and were not related to the underlying bribery scheme alleged.

In a filing in the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, the Office of US Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch has essentially agreed to dismiss 3 counts of wire fraud against former Lake County Sheriff John Buncich. The Government agreed that the wire fraud alleged in counts 1-3 were remote in time. In a brief filed today, the Government stated:

The United States concedes that it failed to introduce sufficient evidence
of “Federal reserve payroll fund” transfers as alleged in Counts 1 through 3 of
the indictment. The Court should vacate Buncich’s convictions on those counts. (Brief of USA at page 34)

The Government argued that the convictions for wire fraud alleged in counts 4 and 5 should stand because they occurred in close proximity to the bribes. The parties will now go before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to argue regarding counts 4 and 5 as well as an issue with admission of evidence.

Buncich was sentenced to 188 months in prison after a contentious 14 day jury trial in August 2017. During the trial, jurors were shown a video of the former Sheriff accepting an envelope of cash and stuffing it in his pocket. A towing operator and former Lake County Police Chief Tim Downs were cooperating with federal investigators in the investigation which resulted in multiple charges.

The Government concluded the brief by stating:

“For the foregoing reasons, the Court should vacate Buncich’s convictions on Counts 1 through 3, affirm the convictions on Counts 4 through 6, and remand for resentencing” Brief of US Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals must still approve vacating counts 1-3 and decide on the arguments regarding counts 4-6.

buncichbriefofUSA

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