Tony Nelson Found Guilty | Crime

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Tony Nelson Found Guilty
Tony Nelson Found Guilty

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It took the jury two days to convict former JAXPORT vice-chairman Tony Nelson.

The guilty verdict came down around lunchtime on Friday.

Nelson is with his family and not available for comment.  But his attorney, Curtis Fallgatter, says he and Nelson are in disbelief.

"We're both just in shock. Just didn't see it coming. We thought the trial had gone very well. We thought we'd done a good job communicating the truth of his services to the Port," said Fallgatter.

Nelson was found guilty on 36 corruption-related charges, including bribery, mail fraud, money laundering and lying to the FBI.

The US Attorney's Office says Nelson demanded and accepted $143,500 in bribes between August 2006 and March 2008.

But Nelson's attorney says the star witness who testified of the bribes was not credible.  "(He) explained that he thought he was asked to put Mr. Nelson on a payroll, and he interpreted that as a solicitation for a bribe.  It was five years ago and there was no confirmation of that," said Fallgatter.

Nelson's attorney says he's fighting back.  In the next 30 days he says he will file motions with the Federal Court asking the Judge to look at legal and factual issues once again.

Fallgatter says an innocent main is going to prison.  "I've never had a doubt in my mind, and I don't today."

Nelson will not go to prison right away.  That will happen after his sentencing.

"We can't predict what that sentence will be. We hope for a favorable sentence," said Fallgatter.

The sentencing will happen some time in the next 90 days. Nelson faces up to $11 million in fines and up to 609 years in prison.


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