Supreme Court Justice Charged with Obstruction of Justice and other federal Crimes
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — United States Attorney Mike Stuart announced today that West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Justice Allen H. Loughry II, 47, of Charleston, West Virginia, was charged by a federal grand jury in a 22-count Indictment that was unsealed today. Loughry is a Justice on the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, who was elected in November 2012 and sworn in on January 1, 2013. The 22-count Indictment charges Loughry with numerous fraud, false statements, and witness tampering offenses.
“A federal grand jury has charged a Justice on the state’s highest court with numerous and serious federal crimes,” said United States Attorney, Mike Stuart. “This is a solemn day for all West Virginians. On this day—West Virginia Day—the people of our great state deserve better. They have worked too hard and too long to tolerate misconduct that strikes at the heart of the public’s trust by their elected officials. I intend to do all that I can to ensure that our people have the honest government they deserve.”
Loughry is accused of using a government vehicle and submitting mileage claims for reimbursement; using a government vehicle and credit card on personal trips; and unlawfully converting to his own use a historically significant piece of furniture – a Cass Gilbert desk. Justice Loughry was also indicted for attempting to corruptly obstruct and influence testimonial evidence of a Supreme Court employee in an imminent grand jury investigation.
“Public corruption is a top investigative priority for the FBI,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Nick Boshears. “It erodes public confidence and undermines the Rule of Law. We want the people we serve to know the FBI will hold those accountable who betray the public’s trust.”
This morning, at approximately 7:30 a.m., Justice Loughry was arrested at his home by the FBI and brought to the Robert C. Byrd Courthouse in Charleston, WV for processing and to schedule arraignment. The arrest of Justice Loughry was without incident and it is not expected he will be detained pending trial in this matter.
“For the past several weeks, public officials across West Virginia have been quick to condemn Justice Loughry, perhaps with the hope that the crisis in public confidence with the Supreme Court could be expediently resolved by lodging all culpability on just one person – Justice Loughry,” said U.S. Attorney Stuart. “That may or may not, however, be the case. Our work continues on many fronts, including additional areas of corruption. I urge public officials and the public to respect this process and allow the process to play out.”
“I want to praise the hard and thorough work of several law enforcement partners, agencies and individuals,” said U.S. Attorney Stuart. “The amazing work of the FBI, the West Virginia Legislative Commission on Special Investigations, the Internal Revenue Service—Criminal Investigation Division, and Assistant United States Attorneys Philip H. Wright, L. Anna Forbes, and Eric Bacaj. Late nights, long weekends, and hours and hours of investigative work – the FBI, WV-CSI, and my prosecutors are to be strongly commended.”
The 22-count Indictment charges Loughry with sixteen counts of mail fraud (Counts 2, 3, 4-17), which carry a penalty of up to 20 years for each count; two counts of wire fraud (Counts 1 and 18), which carry a penalty of up to 20 years for each count; three counts of making false statements to a federal agent (Counts 19-21), which carry a penalty of up to 5 years for each count; and one count of witness tampering (Count 22), which carries a penalty of up to 20 years. If convicted on all counts in the Indictment, Loughry faces a possible sentence of up to 395 years in prison, a fine of $5.5 million, and a term of supervised release of up to 3 years.
Please note: An Indictment is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.