White-Collar Crime

5th Circuit Upholds Conviction of Lawyer, Two Judges in Miss. Corruption Case


The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the sentences of two Mississippi judges and a former lawyer who prosecutors said backed loans for the judges in exchange for favorable rulings.

In an opinion released Wednesday (PDF), the New Orleans-based court affirmed sentences for one-time plaintiff’s lawyer Paul Minor and former judges Wes Teel and John Whitfield.

Minor, first convicted and sentenced to 11 years in 2007, was resentenced this June to eight years after the 5th Circuit vacated his bribery convictions, the Associated Press reports. The AP notes that both judges ended up with shorter sentences.

Minor, who has claimed he was merely helping friends in need and expected nothing in return, is scheduled for release next August. Whitfield has a scheduled release of June 2013 and Teel was released from prison in 2011.

Previous coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “2 Judges & 1 Lawyer Win Bribery Appeals After 5th Circuit Raises New Issue’

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