Jury deliberations to begin in Fumo trial

March 4, 2009 3:54:05 PM PST
Deliberations will begin tomorrow morning in the federal corruption trial of former state senator Vince Fumo. In his last chance to sway the jury, Dennis Cogan, Fumo's lead attorney, told them his client did not commit fraud against the Seaport Museum, where he was a board member.

Fumo did take free annual summer vacation cruises aboard the museum's fleet of luxury yachts, accompanied by personal friends. His lawyer says, Fumo should be because top museum executives let him do it repeatedly.

"You have no fraud if there is complete transparency. Nobody's acting in the shadows here in an alley someplace with nobody knowing what's going on," Dennis Cogan said.

Fumo faces 137 corruption counts.

Cogan claims the government trying to railroad the hardworking Fumo by demonizing him.

"We understand exactly how this works, you put this one next to the allegation of the senate fraud, right next to the allegations of Citizen's Alliance fraud, and you throw in the other things as well and now you got the Seaport Museum fraud; what fraud?" Cogan said.

Federal prosecutor Robert Zauzmer blasted back in rebuttal.

"Does it then demonize Mr. Fumo to say follow the law, do good things, be a good legislator, but don't take hundreds of thousands of dollars or millions of dollars of taxpayer money for yourself," Zauzmer said.

The prosecutor told the jury, Fumo is guilty of greed and a sense of entitlement using other people's money.

"This is like the bank robber who says yes, I robbed the bank, but I didn't shoot anyone while I was in the bank. The crimes he committed are the crimes that he committed," Zauzmer said.

Jury deliberations begin in the morning. With nearly 140 counts to consider, it could be quite a while before the jury renders verdicts in the case of the U.S. vs. Vince Fumo.

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