RICHMOND, Va. (CN) – The 4th Circuit upheld the conviction and sentencing of ex-North Carolina lottery commissioner Kevin Geddings, who concealed the fact that he had a conflict of interest with a lottery vendor.
A federal jury convicted Geddings of five counts of mail fraud for concealing his business relationship with Scientific Games, a vendor vying to operate the North Carolina state lottery.
After being appointed lottery commissioner, Geddings emailed his secretary and told her never to acknowledge over the phone that Scientific Games “is a client.” As a lottery commissioner, he was supposed to provide an unbiased vote in determining which vendors run the state lottery.
Although Geddings had recused himself from voting on lottery vendors, he continued to receive money from Scientific Games and circulated negative articles about competing bidder, GTech.
Geddings’ run as commissioner ended after the U.S. district attorney’s office in North Carolina launched an investigation of the state lottery, forcing Scientific Games to disclose its payment records. Geddings resigned on Nov. 1, 2001.
The appeals court unanimously upheld his conviction and 48-month jail sentence for using mail and wire services to “defraud the citizens of North Carolina of his honest services.” It held that jurors and the trial court judge acted reasonably in holding him accountable.