Judge Warns Lawyers in Fen-Phen Fraud Case to Stay Away from Jurors
The Kentucky judge overseeing the trial of three fen-phen lawyers accused of defrauding their clients told other attorneys and witnesses in the case yesterday to stay away from jurors.
U.S. District Judge William Bertelsman issued the warning after jurors said they thought some parties in the case were following them and listening to their conversations, the Associated Press reports. “If someone is doing this, they will find themselves in real trouble,” including the possibility of a contempt citation, Bertelsman said.
The lawyers on trial—Shirley Cunningham Jr., Melbourne Mills Jr. and William Gallion—are accused of keeping $45 million in settlement money for themselves and putting another $20 million into a charity they controlled. Defense lawyers said jurors could not have been talking about the three defendants because they are in jail, the story says.
Defense lawyers, prosecutors and a lawyer in a related civil case said any contacts with jurors were inadvertent.