Ex-S.C. State Chairman Wants Details on Informants in Kickback Scheme

11:35 AM, Feb 2, 2013   |    comments
Jonathan Pinson (Image: SC State University)
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Written By: David Dykes

Greenville, SC -- Former South Carolina State University trustee chairman Jonathan Pinson, accused of using his influence in an alleged kickback scheme, wants the government to share evidence against him, according to court filings.

The Simpsonville businessman is seeking a judge's order requiring federal prosecutors to disclose the names of confidential informants they intend to call as witnesses at his trial, according to court filings.

Pinson also wants to see potential evidence, including statements from co-defendants, tape-recorded conversations and any kind of surveillance, according to a motion for discovery filed in court.

Pinson, 42, was indicted last month in an investigation involving a proposed land deal at the university. He has pleaded not guilty.

A federal indictment charged Pinson with soliciting various "kickbacks" in return for agreements to use his official position to benefit unnamed persons who authorities allege agreed to provide items of value to him "and his accomplices."

The indictment alleges a plan by which Pinson would receive a Porsche Cayenne in exchange for his assistance in arranging the purchase of Orangeburg County property known as "Sportsman's Retreat" by the university, according to court documents.

Eric Robinson, a Greer businessman identified as a "close personal friend" of Pinson's, also was indicted, according to court documents.

Robinson was charged in the indictment with agreeing to assist Pinson in collecting "kickback" payments and of using Pinson's position and connections to financially benefit himself, according to court documents.

Robinson, 42, pleaded not guilty to the federal charges. He and Pinson have promised through their attorneys to fight the government in court.

Court records show the former police chief at the university in Orangeburg pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge.

U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles has said more indictments are expected in the "ongoing investigation."

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