NEILSON UPDATE: Judge sets new date for undecided counts

ABERDEEN – Oxford FBI agent Hal Neilson may go back on trial in January, U.S. District Court records show.

Monday, Judge Sharion Aycock set Jan. 18 to re-try him on three counts that a 12-member jury could not agree to unanimously across 13 hours of deliberations last week.

The jury found him not guilty Saturday on two counts – accusations that he unlawfully was involved with reconciling a construction “punch list” on the 2109 University Ave. building, where the FBI is housed, and that he intentionally lied to a federal investigator.

Neilson, 49, was indicted Jan. 13 and went on trial Nov. 8 before Aycock in Aberdeen.

Christi R. McCoy of Oxford, one of his defense team attorneys, said the U.S. Speedy Trial Act requires that a new court date be set.

“But we hope the government will elect not to re-try this case,” she said late Monday.

On the stand, Neilson insisted that while he made numerous mistakes on reporting forms and in seven-year-old recollections, he did not intentionally try to conceal his one-third ownership in the building and a $50,000 check he received from the owning group, C&G Partnership LLC.

At the time the check was issued, Neilson had not signed the C&G membership agreement. He received the check through another company to which he was a member, ACM LLC, with C&G’s partners.

While earlier he termed the check an “internal loan,” at trial his tax attorney said it was a “draw” of Neilson’s own money.

Prosecutors Rene Salomon and Richard Bourgeois were out of their Baton Rouge, La., offices until Nov. 29. Another official contact there could not be reached for comment.

The case was tried by attorneys from the Middle District of Louisiana because of conflicts of interest between the Northern District Office and Neilson.

Patsy R. Brumfield/Daily Journal