A grand jury in West Virginia’s southern district has indicted state Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry on 22 counts. The charges include fraud, witness tampering and making false statements.
U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart says FBI agents arrested Loughry Wednesday morning and brought him to the Robert C. Byrd federal courthouse in Charleston for processing.
The 22-count indictment charges Loughry with sixteen counts of mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud, three counts of making false statements to a federal agent and one count of witness tampering.
Stuart said the maximum sentence for all charges total 395 years in prison, a fine of $5.5 million and a term of supervised release of up to 3 years.
“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,” Sturart said in a news release.
“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,” Stuart added.
The state supreme court suspended Loughry without pay earlier this month following an investigation that found he abused the prestige of his office. He is also accused of lying to the media, lawmakers and the public about his knowledge of high-cost renovations to the Supreme Court offices and improper use of state resources, including furniture and vehicles.
Following his suspension, legislative leaders of both parties and Gov. Jim Justice called for Loughry’s resignation.