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Famed Litigator Gets 5-Year Term For Conspiracy to Bribe Judge

Richard
Richard "Dickie" Scruggs, center, leaves federal court in Oxford, Miss., after his sentencing hearing. He became famous for using a whistle-blower in lawsuits against tobacco companies that led to a $206 billion settlement. (By Bruce Newman -- Associated Press)
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U.S. Attorney Jim Greenlee called the case "profoundly sad" but declined to comment further because the investigation is ongoing.

Scruggs's former defense attorney Joey Langston has pleaded guilty to trying to influence Hinds County Judge Bobby DeLaughter in the asbestos case by promising that Scruggs could help DeLaughter get appointed to the federal bench with the help of Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.), Scruggs's brother-in-law.

Scruggs and the others have not been charged in that case.

Scruggs must report to prison by Aug. 4 and pay the fine within 30 days.

He asked to serve his time at the federal prison camp in Pensacola, Fla., the same minimum-security prison where another prominent Mississippi attorney and Scruggs associate, Paul Minor, is serving an 11-year sentence for bribing two state court judges.

Many high-profile friends had sought leniency for Scruggs in letters to Biggers, including former "60 Minutes" producer Lowell Bergman and tobacco industry whistle-blower Jeffrey Wigand, both portrayed in "The Insider."

Scruggs left the red brick courthouse without comment and drove away with his family and attorney.


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