Thursday, April 18, 2013
James Riley & Ryan Robinson Pechanga Bribery ReTrial Underway. No Trial Yet for ACTUAL Pechanga Thieves
A second trial got underway Wednesday, April 17 for former insurance broker and a onetime official of the Pechanga Resort & Casino, who now face commercial bribery charges in a case that was reduced after jurors deadlocked when it was first heard as a $4 million overcharge scam in July.
Prosecutors said in the original case that then-insurance broker James William Riley of Murrieta, and onetime casino chief financial officer Ryan Jay Robinson of Temecula, worked hand-in-hand in 2006-2007 as Robinson turned a blind eye and approved inflated insurance invoices from Riley, in exchange for about $150,000 in kickbacks.
Riley’s defense attorney in the first trial said his client took due compensation for saving Pechanga millions of dollars in insurance premiums in a tight insurance market after the industry was recovering from huge claims following Hurricane Katrina. Robinson’s attorney said his client had no knowledge of the inner workings of Ryan’s insurance operation.
When jurors could not reach verdicts on July 26, a judge declared a mistrial and a few days later dismissed grand theft and money laundering charges, leaving Riley and Robinson each facing three charges of commercial bribery, which focus on the alleged kickbacks.
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