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04-03-2009, 03:08 PM
Jury in diet-drug case convicts 2 attorneys

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A federal jury on Friday convicted two disbarred lawyers accused of scamming their clients out of millions of dollars in a diet-drug settlement.
It was the second trial for William Gallion and Shirley Cunningham. A federal jury in Covington last year was unable to reach a verdict for Gallion and Cunningham but acquitted a third defendant.

Prosecutors charged Gallion and Cunningham with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and eight counts of wire fraud, claiming they bilked some 440 clients who claimed they had been hurt by the diet drug fen-phen.

The case has earned attention both for the allegations of attorney misconduct and the complicated assets of the defendants, which include a 20 percent share of the thoroughbred Curlin being held in a trust.

The jury had been deliberating since early Thursday following a trial that lasted several weeks.

Defense attorney Hale Almand claimed the two were simply following the advice of a nationally known class-action expert whom they had hired as a consultant for counsel in divvying up the $200 million settlement for 440 clients who claimed they had been hurt by the diet drug fen-phen.

Almand also argued that the evidence simply wasn't sufficient to convict Gallion and Cunningham, and that the settlement was done under the auspices of a northern http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D97B4SQO0&show_article=1