Brent Wilkes, the former defense contractor who’s serving a jail sentence for bribing former GOP congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham, is expected to leave prison today, reports the San Diego-area North County Times .
Says the paper:
On Monday, a federal judge signed the order allowing Wilkes to leave prison on bail while he appeals his conviction for the bribery of the ex-North County Republican lawmaker. As of this morning, however, the 54-year-old remained behind bars at Terminal Island Federal Correctional Institution in Los Angeles County.
This has been in the works for a while. Back in March, an appeals court ruled, in the words of the North County Times, “that his appeal raises such a substantial question of law or fact that it could lead the appeals court to overturn his conviction, force a new trial or order a punishment that would include no jail time.”
As a result, the court ruled that Wilkes could leave jail while conducting his appeal — as long as he could make bail.
For a while, he couldn’t. Wilkes’ properties depreciated in value thanks to the housing slump, which hit southern California hard. But on Monday, a judge ruled that properties’ value was enough to ensure that he would show up for future hearings, and that he doesn’t pose a flight risk.
His lawyer said in an email to the paper that she hopes Wilkes will be home with his family by tonight.
Wilkes is currently serving 12 years in federal prison for bribery, conspiracy, fraud, and wiretapping. Prosecutors argued he bribed Cunningham with prostitutes and lavish vacations, among other items of value.