A federal judge on Monday threw out 50 guilty verdicts against George Torres, the founder and former chief executive of Numero Uno Markets, but has ordered a new trial on several other charges.
Torres was convicted in April on 55 charges including bribing public officials, ordering the murder of a former employee, harboring illegal aliens, racketeering and tax evasion. But the following month, Federal Judge Stephen Wilson threw out the most serious charges of murder and racketeering after evidence surfaced that the police had coached witnesses on their testimony.
On Monday Wilson threw out the convictions for other less serious charges. However, he ordered a new trial on the charges that Torres committed tax fraud and had employed illegal aliens.
The judge determined that the tainted testimony about Torres on racketeering may have pre-disposed the jury to find him guilty of the tax and employment crimes.
“The government should not enjoy the slightest benefit of any spillover from the dismissed counts to the remaining counts,” the judgment stated.
In May, Torres sold the Numero Uno chain of eight neighborhood grocery stores to a private equity partnership.
Torres’ defense attorney Robert Eisfelder declined to comment because he had not finished reading the judge’s order.
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