CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — The federal government will not seek another trial in the case of James Laurita Jr., the former MepCo CEO and president accused of multiple charges of excessive contributions to federal election campaigns.
A jury failed to come to a verdict following 12 hours of deliberation over two days earlier this month. Federal Judge Irene M. Keeley declared a mistrial Feb. 2, when jurors announced they could not come to a unanimous verdict.
A federal grand jury indicted Laurita on multiple counts last September, including scheming to cause false statements to the Federal Election Commission; causing contributions in the name of another; causing excessive contributions; and causing false statement to the Federal Election Commission.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of West Virginia released the following statement:
“The United States has determined to not retry James Laurita, who was tried earlier this year, resulting in a mistrial after two days of deliberations.
Notwithstanding our belief that the case was an important one to prosecute, after careful deliberations with the experienced trial team who tried the case, we believe that another trial, with the same evidence and identical legal standards would likely lead to another deadlocked jury and we do not believe that a retrial would be a judicious use of government resources.
We charged and tried the case based upon the evidence we had, and we will continue to pursue election-related offenses, but the jury in this case was not unanimously convinced that a guilty verdict was justified.
We respect the jury’s work and the process. We have filed a motion to dismiss the matter with the court.”
The decision not to retry Laurita is a reversal from a decision earlier this week, when a second trial had been rescheduled for April 13.
Laurita previously served as the president and CEO of Mepco, LLC. The allegations stemmed to campaign contributions the government believed Laurita made through his employees between March 2010 and July 2013.