Former state justice gets 2-year prison sentence; he used government credit card to buy gas

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Former Justice Allen H. Loughry II. Photo from the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.

Former Justice Allen H. Loughry II of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has been sentenced to two years in prison for a conviction mostly stemming from his use of a government credit card to buy gas for personal travel.

Senior U.S. District Judge John T. Copenhaver Jr. of Charleston, West Virginia, sentenced Loughry on Wednesday, report the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Courthouse News Service, the West Virginia News and a press release.

Copenhaver also sentenced Loughry to three years of supervised release, fined him $10,000 and ordered him to pay about $1,200 in restitution.

Loughry’s sentence exceeded federal guidelines. Copenhaver said the longer sentence was needed because Loughry’s crimes contributed to a lack of public trust and respect for the state supreme court, according to the Gazette-Mail story.

“Of great importance here is a sentence that promotes respect for the law and deters others,” Copenhaver said.

The restitution will be paid to the state and the Pound Civil Justice Institute. Loughry had charged the institute for mileage to a Baltimore event even though he drove a state vehicle there, resulting in a mail fraud conviction. Seven wire fraud convictions were related to Loughry’s use of the government fuel card to buy gas for personal travel.

Loughry also was convicted of lying to the FBI about his use of state vehicles and about his knowledge of the origins of a desk he took from the court to his home.

Loughry also was convicted of witness tampering, but Copenhaver granted acquittal on the charge in January after finding insufficient evidence to support it, the West Virginia Metro News previously reported.

Loughry’s lawyer said during the sentencing hearing that Loughry has reached an agreement with judicial ethics regulators to give up his law license and to never run again for public office.

Hat tip to How Appealing.

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