Federal appeals court overturns Nebraska man's bribery sentence, saying he was entrapped

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OMAHA, Nebraska — A federal appeals court has overturned the bribery conviction of a Nebraska man.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Monday in its ruling that 72-year-old Jim Barta, of Fremont, was entrapped by federal agents. The court also ordered Barta immediately released from prison, where he was serving 21 months.

Jurors convicted Barta, former Chicago Alderman Ambrosio Medrano and another man, Gus Buenrostro, in June 2013.

Prosecutors had argued the three men agreed to bribe an undercover FBI agent posing as a purchasing agent for a California hospital to land a pharmaceutical contract.

Barta is a cattle rancher and founder of the Sav-Rx prescription company.

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