Justia White Collar Crime Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in South Carolina Supreme Court
Respondent Rick Quinn, Jr. was a former member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, representing constituents in Richland and Lexington counties from 1989-2004 and 2010-2017 and serving as House Majority Leader from 1999- 2004. He owned and operated a mail business called Mail Marketing Strategies (MMS) in Columbia, while his father owned and operated a political consulting firm, Richard Quinn & Associates (RQ&A). In 2014, Attorney General Alan Wilson designated First Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe as special prosecutor to conduct a State grand jury investigation into alleged public corruption committed by current and former members of the South Carolina General Assembly. This case arose from a prior state grand jury investigation of former House Speaker Bobby Harrell, which resulted in six counts of misusing campaign funds, to which he pleaded guilty. During the course of the investigation into Speaker Harrell, SLED uncovered potentially criminal conduct by Representative Jimmy Merrill and Representative Rick Quinn, and a second grand jury investigation was initiated to investigate the conduct of these individuals. The investigation focused on Quinn's practice of using his office as House Majority Leader and leader of the House Republican Caucus to direct mailing and political services to his family's businesses. Quinn only admitted to a limited set of facts supporting the indictment. Believing the plea lacked a sufficient basis, the State moved to vacate Quinn's guilty plea, reconsider the sentence, and for the trial court's recusal. The State appealed the order denying its motions. After review, the South Carolina Supreme Court determined that the State could not appeal the guilty plea, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing, and there was no evidence of judicial bias or prejudice requiring the court to recuse itself. Therefore, the Court dismissed the State's appeal of the guilty plea, and affirmed as to all other issues. View "South Carolina v. Quinn" on Justia Law