News and Press Releases

GEORGE E. B. HOLDING

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Friday - April 27, 2007

DECKER SENTENCED

RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced that in federal court here today, United States District Judge James Dever sentenced MICHAEL P. DECKER, SR., of Walkertown, North Carolina, to 48 months imprisonment, a two-year term of supervised release, a $50,000 fine, and a $100 special assessment.

United States Attorney Holding said, “What DECKER did--selling his party affiliation and his vote for House Speaker--was terribly corrupt. To his credit, however, he admitted his wrongdoing and his cooperation significantly aided the investigation. This was reflected in his sentence.”

A Criminal Information filed by the United States Attorney’s Office on August 1, 2006, charged DECKER with conspiracy to defraud the United States. DECKER pled guilty to the charge that same day. After the results of the general election of November 2002, left the North Carolina House of Representatives with 61 Republican members and 50 Democratic members, DECKER solicited and agreed to accept $50,000 and other things of value in return for switching from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party and supporting a particular candidate, Jim Black, for Speaker of the House. On January 24, 2003, DECKER changed his party registration from Republican to Democrat and publicly announced the switch. On that same day, four checks were made payable to DECKER’s campaign totaling $2,500. Later in 2003, DECKER accepted approximately $38,000 in checks and $12,000 in cash in return for switching parties and supporting Jim Black for Speaker of the House.

Prior to the sentencing, the government filed a motion asking for a “downward departure” in DECKER’s sentence based on his “substantial assistance” in the investigation and prosecution of Jim Black, in federal and state court.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Postal Service, and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, in conjunction with the United States Attorney’s Office and the Office of Wake County District Attorney C. Colon Willoughby, Jr. First Assistant United States Attorney John Stuart Bruce and Assistant United States Attorney Dennis M. Duffy prosecuted the case.

“Today’s sentencing addresses an encroachment of the public’s trust and confidence bestowed upon every government official. The FBI is charged with the responsibility to investigate allegations or instances of public corruption, as it strikes at the very core of our government. Committed to justice, the FBI will continue its vigilance towards those that commit crimes against our society,” said Nathan T. Gray, Special Agent-in-Charge of the FBI in North Carolina.

Internal Revenue Service-CI Special Agent in Charge Charles E. Hunter stated, “Crimes committed by public officials violate the public trust. Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation wants the public to know that no one is above the law.”

Director Robin Pendergraft of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) Director Robin Pendergraft had this comment: “The resolution of this case continues the SBI’s commitment to investigating public corruption. Our agents’ work in conjunction with federal law enforcement is an integral factor in addressing public corruption, which can erode our system of government.” And North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper stated: “These cases show that public corruption can best be fought with a coordinated effort between our state and federal authorities. We look forward to continuing this fight together.”

 

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

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