Charges dropped in Glock fraud case
by Leo Hohmann
March 15, 2013 12:51 AM | 3573 views | 3 3 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Vic Reynolds
Vic Reynolds
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James Harper
James Harper
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Jeff Pombert
Jeff Pombert
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Jerry Chapman
Jerry Chapman
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MARIETTA – Three private investigators who were hired to look into corruption at Glock Inc. and later found themselves the target of criminal indictments can breathe easier after Cobb’s district attorney dismissed all charges against them Thursday.

D.A. Vic Reynolds dismissed the three-year-old indictments against James Harper, Jeff Pombert and Jerry Chapman, who stood accused of bilking the international gunmaker out of $3 million between 2000 and 2003.

Cobb prosecutors said Harper and his co-defendants had billed Glock for services not rendered and also overbilled for other services.

Harper is a former assistant U.S. attorney hired by Glock to investigate alleged criminal activity inside the company, including the 1999 assassination attempt of founder Gaston Glock in Luxembourg.

Pombert is an Atlanta attorney, and Chapman has been a resident of Marietta, though it is not known if he still resides in the city.

Reynolds said he had nothing left to prosecute after a state Supreme Court ruling last month cut the legs out from under the case, reversing Cobb Superior Court Judge Tain Kell’s earlier decision that would have allowed the statute of limitations to be extended from four to 15 years. All of the alleged fraudulent activity took place from 2000 to 2003, but Cobb County did not indict the men until January 2010.

Glock, based in Austria, has its North American headquarters in Smyrna.

Reynolds inherited the case from previous Cobb D.A. Pat Head.

Reynolds said the case originally had a fourth defendant, Paul Jannuzzo, Glock’s former general counsel, who was convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison for stealing a pistol and conspiring with a co-worker to pilfer millions of dollars from the company.

The case attracted international media attention.

Reynolds said his predecessor had invested a lot of time in the case, but once the Supreme Court ruling came down in February, his hands were tied.

“These three stood on a separate indictment (from Jannuzzo),” Reynolds said. “Their case was appealed and went to the Supreme Court, which overturned Judge Kell and stated that a majority of the counts could not be prosecuted due to the statute of limitations having run out, and therefore very little was left to prosecute.”

Reynolds said he assigned the case to John Melvin, his assistant D.A. in charge of white collar crime.

“He’s a very experienced prosecutor, someone I have a great deal of trust in, and he reviewed it and said ‘Vic, there’s virtually nothing left to prosecute on these cases.’”

The dismissal was presented to Judge Kell late Wednesday evening, and he signed it Thursday.

Efforts to reach Don Samuel, who led the defense team in the case, were unsuccessful Thursday.

Samuel, an Atlanta defense attorney, has represented such high profile clients as NFL players Ray Lewis and Jamal Lewis, pro hockey player Dany Heatley and rapper T.I., according to his website.
Comments
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New Day
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March 15, 2013
Hopefully this will portend a new day in Cobb where cases will be tried on the actual evidence and not on making a reputation for the prosecutor. Too many defendants have probably been forced to go nearly bankrupt defending suspect charges only because the DA's office didn't want to look weak.
Gringo Bandito
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March 15, 2013
Real classy move showing mugshots of people who have had their charges dropped.
not surprised
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March 15, 2013
I guess he will dismiss the rest of the high profile cases too. What do you expect he is a defence attorney.
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