CA grocer free after guilty plea on minor count

AP News
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Posted: Dec 22, 2009 11:26 PM

The founder of a Southern California grocery chain who was once convicted on racketeering and other felonies is free after pleading guilty to a lesser count.

George Torres admitted Monday to one count of failing to collect payroll taxes from employees at his Numero Uno markets. He received credit for time served while awaiting prosecution and faces no further jail time.

Torres faced as much as life in prison in April after a federal jury found him guilty of 55 counts, including charges that he ordered the killing of rivals and bribed public officials.

A judge later threw out the most serious charges after prosecutors discovered evidence that may have exonerated him.

Torres' attorney says he's grateful for the court's work that led to his client's freedom.

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Information from: Daily Journal