A federal judge has dismissed all charges against a defendant in New Jersey's largest corruption case.

It was the second major legal victory in the case for former state Assemblyman Louis Manzo, who was among 44 people charged in a sweeping federal investigation into international money laundering and political corruption.

Manzo initially faced counts of extortion conspiracy, but those charges were dismissed after a federal appeals court ruled Manzo had been improperly charged under rules meant for public officials. Federal prosecutors then brought new charges against him, including two counts of violating the federal Travel Act.

But in a 60-page decision issued late Friday, U.S. District Judge Jose Linares granted Manzo's motion to dismiss all counts.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office said prosecutors accept the judge's ruling.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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