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    • Brief

    United States v. Thomas Spellissy, et al.

    Spellissy was convicted on five counts, including one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, wire fraud and honest-services fraud. Of the other counts, the District Court either granted a post-trial motion for judgment of acquitted (bribery) or motion for a new trial (substantive wire fraud offenses). Spellissy exhausted his direct appellate rights, as well as, the collateral remedies provided by 28 U.S.C. §2255. He also completed his supervised release and is not currently serving any portion of his sentence.

    Argument: In light of the Skilling decision, Spellissy petitioned for a writ of error coram nobis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1651(a), the All Writs Act, on this remaining conspiracy count. On December 29, 2010, the Court denied Spellissy's petition. Spellissy is appealing the denial to the 11th Circuit.

    On August 16, 2011, the 11th Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision to deny Spellissy's petition for a writ of error coram nobis pursuant to the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. 1651(a).  The court determined that Spellissy's conviction was not based on the "conflict of interest" or "self-dealing" theories of honest services fraud since the jury was instructed on both bribery and wire fraud.  Also, even if an error occurred, it was harmless and didn't have a "substantial and injurious effect" on the jury's verdict.  

    On March 22, 2013, the 11th Circuit affirmed the decision from the Middle District of Florida that the court did not err when it denied Spellissy's petition for writ of error coram nobis.  Spellissy failed to demonstrate that the district court abused its discretion.