A Georgia appeals court on Tuesday overturned the conviction of a former executive for Glock Inc. who was sentenced to seven years in prison for stealing a pistol and conspiring to steal millions of dollars from the gun manufacturer.
The Georgia Court of Appeals reversed Paul Jannuzzo's March 2012 convictions on theft and racketeering charges. The state failed to indict Jannuzzo within the statute of limitations, Presiding Judge Gary Blaylock Andrews wrote in the opinion.
Jannuzzo has long argued that the state failed to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and that prosecutors waited too long to prosecute him.
The Cobb County district attorney's office, which prosecuted the case, didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.
Prosecutors had said Jannuzzo, who was once Glock's general counsel, worked with former company vice president Peter Manown to steal more than $5 million using fake bank accounts, fabricated loan documents and forged signatures of company founder Gaston Glock.
Manown told Glock a decade ago that he and Jannuzzo took the money. Prosecutors didn't charge either man with wrongdoing until Glock in 2007 turned over the details of its internal investigation to authorities in Cobb County, where the Austrian company's U.S. headquarters is located. Manown soon pleaded guilty to three counts of theft and was sentenced to 10 years. He was the state's star witness at Jannuzzo's trial.
The Court of Appeals opinion notes that the statute of limitations for the felony theft by conversion charge is four years, while the limit for the racketeering charge is five years. The state filed the indictment against Jannuzzo in June 2009, meaning it would have to prove that Glock's first knowledge of the alleged crime against it would have had to be no earlier than June 2005 for the theft charge and June 2004 for the racketeering charge.
The Court of Appeals found that Glock had knowledge of both alleged offenses no later than February or March of 2003.