Jonathan Pinson (Image: SC State University)
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP, WLTX) - The former campus police chief for South Carolina State University has pleaded guilty in a federal kickback scheme.
Michael Bartley pleaded guilty to conspiracy Thursday during a hearing in Charleston.
Prosecutors said Bartley and former trustee Jonathan Pinson conspired to get the school to buy a tract of Orangeburg County land from a Florida landowner. The property is located on Wild Hearts Lane.
In exchange, prosecutors said Bartley was to receive $30,000 and an ATV. Barltey, prosecutors say, showed the property to numerous people, and explained the benefits of buying the land.
The property could have multiple uses, and there was a discussion of using property as a conference center, according to prosecutors.
Authorities said they monitored Pinson's phone calls in 2011 and learned of his deal with Bartley. They moved in during November of last year and shut down the deal before it could take place.
Pinson quit the board last month. He has been charged with taking kickbacks. Prosecutors say he had been set to get a Porsche Cayenne in exchange for the deal.
Federal prosecutors have also charged Greenville businessman Eric Robinson. Robinson was a partner with WE Entertainment, which promoted concerts in Greenville, Atlanta, and other places. They also managed concerts for the 2011 South Carolina State University homecoming concert.
Prosecutors say Robinson paid Pinson in order to get that contract, and later worked with Pinson to secure kickbacks for the land deal. They say Robinson made phone calls, and traveled to Florida and Georgia to help with the deal.
Prosecutors said Bartley confessed and agreed to help them. He is free on bond and will be sentenced later. Pinson plead not guilty and is free on $25,000 bond.