FEDERAL TRIAL JUROR CHARGED FOR SOLICITING BRIBE
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announced today that Italo Campagna, 55, a juror in an ongoing federal criminal trial, has been charged for soliciting a bribe in exchange for convincing fellow jurors to vote not guilty in a pending criminal case.
According to the complaint filed in federal court today, Campagna was a sworn trial juror in the federal criminal case of United States v. Arturo Marrero, pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Case No. 10-60244-CR-COOKE. Campagna allegedly approached the father of the defendant outside the U.S. Courthouse in Miami, Florida and stated that he had information about the case. Campagna gave the father a piece of paper with a telephone number on it, but did not identify himself by name or explain that he was a juror.
The complaint further alleges that later that afternoon, the defendant’s brother called Campagna and arranged to meet with him in Miami Beach to discuss the case. At that meeting, Campagna revealed to the brother that he was a juror in the case and that some of his fellow jurors were inclined to convict. Campagna offered to persuade other jurors to vote not guilty in exchange for a payment of between $50,000 and $100,000. The brother expressed skepticism at Campagna’s claims, and added that money was tight, that he would think about Campagna’s offer, and that he would get back to him the next day.
On October 5, 2011, the brother began to cooperate with the FBI and made a recorded telephone call to Campagna to follow up on his discussions of the day before. The brother asked whether Campagna was still willing to help influence the outcome of the case, and Campagna answered yes. The brother then proposed a meeting at the same time and place to discuss money and other details. Campagna agreed. The brother stated that he had been able to get some money together but wanted to negotiate a final price.
Later that day, the brother participated in a recorded meeting with Campagna near the same Miami Beach location. Campagna reiterated that he could influence the jury and prevent a guilty verdict. The brother and Campagna then began to negotiate over price, and eventually settled on $20,000, which is the amount the brother said that he had brought with him. Campagna followed the brother to his vehicle to obtain the cash payment. The brother then handed Campagna what appeared to be a bundle of cash in a brown paper bag. At that point, Campagna was arrested.
U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer stated, “The credibility and public confidence in our criminal justice system hinge on the integrity of individuals serving as jurors. If that integrity is compromised, then so are our efforts to bring criminals to justice. This case should serve as a stern reminder of the consequences that follow a breach of a juror's sworn duty to follow the law. We will prosecute these cases swiftly and vigorously.”
“Mr. Campagna put himself on the defendant’s seat by soliciting a bribe as a juror to fix the outcome of a trial,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge John Gillies. “He not only blatantly violated his oath, his actions put the integrity of our justice system in jeopardy.”
This case was investigated by the FBI-led Miami Area Corruption Task Force, which includes the City of Miami Police Department and the Hialeah Police Department and will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian K. Frazier of the Public Integrity, National Security, and Civil Rights Section of the United States Attorney’s Office.
A criminal complaint is only an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.