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White-Collar Crime

Fed’l Jury Convicts 2 Ex-Lawyers in $95M Fen-Phen Litigation Settlement Scam

Posted Apr 3, 2009 1:51 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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It took two trials, but federal prosecutors have now won a criminal conviction in a case against two disbarred Kentucky lawyers accused of scamming almost $95 million from clients in massive diet drug litigation.

William Gallion and Shirley Cunningham were found guilty today by a federal jury in Kentucky in the wire fraud case, following a several-week trial and a little over a day of deliberations, reports the Associated Press.

The two were accused of cheating clients out of $94.6 million in settlement funds in litigation over fen-phen medication; the defense said the settlement split-up—which was approved by a judge in northern Kentucky—was done as recommended by a national expert.

A third Kentucky lawyer, Melbourne Mills, was acquitted in an earlier trial in July. The same jury couldn't agree on a verdict as far as Gallion and Cunningham were concerned and reportedly deadlocked 10-2 in favor of acquitting them, too.

When they are sentenced, Gallion and Cunningham face potential prison terms of as much as 20 years and fines of up to $250,000, Bloomberg reports.

Additional coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Fen-Phen Lawyers Blame Cincinnati Class Action Atty for Mistakes"

ABAJournal.com: "New Indictment of Fen-phen Lawyers Adds Charges, Seeks $50M More"

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