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California Briefing / Los Angeles

Grocery magnate to get new trial

September 22, 2009|Associated Press

A federal judge in Los Angeles has tossed out the remaining guilty verdicts against the founder of a Southern California grocery chain because of evidence that may have exonerated him.

U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson threw out 50 guilty verdicts that included mail fraud and bribery against George Torres, who founded Numero Uno markets. Wilson had earlier dismissed more serious convictions of racketeering and conspiracy.

A new trial will be held on the lesser counts.

Torres was convicted in April. Prosecutors say he ordered the killing of rivals, bribed public officials and hired illegal immigrants to bolster and protect his business.

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