On June 20, 2018, at 7:00 AM, suspended Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry was arrested and indicted on 22 federal charges in Charleston, West Virginia. The Judicial Investigation Commission originally filed 32 charges against Loughry on June 6, 2018.
His charges, which violate the state judicial code, include 16 counts of mail fraud, three counts of making false statements to a federal agent, two counts of wire fraud, and one count of witness tampering.
If Loughry is found guilty and convicted, he faces up to 395 years, a fine of up to $5.5 million, and three years of supervised release.
While the courts originally called for the suspension of his license to practice law, it has only been deferred. This, however, will become a secondary issue, as the federal indictment will take precedence over the final decision on his law license.
Now that Loughry has been indicted, there are consequences the courts may choose to impose. The West Virginia Senate and House Democratic leaders wish for immediate legislative action and are calling for impeachment proceedings.
In the event of an impeachment in West Virginia, the Judicial Advisory Commission can accept applications and make recommendations to the governor. The governor, who has the constructional authority to fill the vacant seat, is not required to accept the Commission’s recommendations.
While it is difficult to tell what will happen next, the general opinion of legal experts in the area is that this will go to trial. Given the weight of the charges, a plea deal is unlikely. A federal judge will eventually be assigned to the case.
Prior to this, Loughry was elected to the Supreme Court in 2012 and served as chief justice in 2017.
Rob Bastress, one of our trial attorneys at DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC, gave his thoughts on the indictment to WCHS Eyewitness News.