Former North Carolina lottery commissioner Kevin Geddings was recently exonerated of his felony conviction on fraud charges and released from federal prison. According to the Charlotte Observer, Geddings' fraud conviction was vacated on Friday, and the government was ordered to repay his $25,000 fine.
Geddings had worked previously as chief of staff to the South Carolina governor. He was running a consulting business when he was appointed to run North Carolina's lottery in 2005. However, he resigned only weeks later amid reports that he had received thousands of dollars from a lottery company before his appointment. In 2006, Geddings was convicted of honest services mail fraud as a result of his failure to disclose his financial ties to the lottery company. He began his prison sentence in July 2007.
However, in June, the United States Supreme Court effectively narrowed the scope of the law Geddings was convicted of breaking. The Court ruled that the law only applied to individuals accepting kickbacks, not those with potential conflicts of interest. Now, the law is no longer applicable to the actions taken by Geddings.
Geddings admits that he made mistakes by failing to disclose his receipt of the funds. However, he maintained that he never was guilty of felony fraud charges.
Although he is relieved to be exonerated, he asserts that his life has been ruined. He lost his marriage, business and reputation. Still, he says he is trying hard not to be bitter and looks forward to starting the next chapter of his life.
Source: The Associated Press "Former NC lottery chief's fraud conviction vacated" 8/29/10