Criminal Justice

Lawyers Charged in Fen-Phen Case


A federal grand jury has indicted three Kentucky attorneys on charges they defrauded clients out of $65 million in settlement money.

Shirley Cunningham, Melbourne Mills Jr. and William Gallion of Lexington, Ky., were indicted yesterday on a charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, the Courier-Journal reports.

They are accused of keeping part of the money that was due their clients in a settlement with the makers of the diet drug known as fen-phen.

The indictment claims the attorneys negotiated with clients to get them to take less than they were due and told them they could go to jail if they revealed the amount received.

The lawyers were also found liable in a civil suit by more than 400 fen-phen plaintiffs seeking additional settlement money. The plaintiffs hope to recover some of the cash by voiding the sale of an interest in the race horse Curlin owned by Cunningham and Gallion.

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