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Judge denies former football star's motion to vacate fraud sentence

A federal judge has denied a bid by a former nurse recruiting company executive to overturn his fraud conviction.

Anthony J. Aliucci, 41, of Mars was chief operating officer of Nurse Resource Group Inc. in 2008 when he pleaded guilty to defrauding another company, Global Nursing Solutions Inc., out of about $1.4 million by claiming to have recruited nearly 200 foreign nurses. He is currently serving a four-year sentence at the federal prison in Morgantown, W.Va.

Aliucci claimed his conviction should be overturned because of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Skilling v. United States case. The justices partly overturned the conviction of Jeffrey Skilling, former chief executive officer of Enron, last year by ruling that the “honest services” fraud statute only covers bribery and kickback schemes.

U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer ruled Friday that Aliucci waived his right to appeal when he pleaded guilty. Also, since he was convicted of mail fraud rather than honest services fraud, the Skilling decision doesn't apply.

Aliucci was a star quarterback for Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He finished second in the voting in 1991 for the Harlan Hill Award, the Division II equivalent of the Heisman Trophy.

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