FBI raids Joey Langston’s office

I have been hearing talk for a week that something was up with Langston, a close associate of Dickie Scruggs over the years and his attorney after the Scruggs scandal broke.  Now it’s confirmed.  See this item just posted on the Clarion Ledger’s website. Here’s what it says:

FBI agents went inside the office this morning of Booneville lawyer Joey Langston, an attorney for multimillionaire Mississippi lawyer trial lawyer Dickie Scruggs.

"They are executing a search warrant," said Deborah Madden, spokeswoman for the FBI in Jackson.

Scruggs and others have pleaded innocent to federal charges that they schemed to bribe a judge handling $26.5 million in attorney fees related to Hurricane Katrina claims.

A truck could be seen outside Langston’s office.

Asked if agents were getting computers, Madden would not comment.

Calls to the Langston office this morning went unanswered.

Phones went unanswered? I guess that’s not in the job description of an FBI agent.  You will remember that last week Langston’s colleague, William Quin, began appearing in court for Scruggs.  Presumably there was a reason for the switch — a possible one being prosecutors had notified Langston he had a potential conflict in representing Scruggs himself.  However, if Langston was conflicted out, one would think it probable that his whole firm would be. We shall see what transpires.  What an amazing, amazing set of developments.      

16 Comments

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16 Responses to FBI raids Joey Langston’s office

  1. Tim

    I happened to note that in the Sun-Herald version of this story, it notes that the lawsuit Langston handled defending Scruggs brought by Mr Luckey was settled out of court confidentially. In the NY Times story, the reported mentions framed memorabilia in Merkel’s office of $17 million dollars of payments from Scruggs to Mr Luckey. So much for confidentiality.

  2. concerned

    it wasn’t a settlement. it was a federal trial open to public. there is a wriiten opinion by judge davis. it is on pacer. nyt got it wrong

  3. Mississippian

    Incredible coverage, Mr. Rossmiller. Outstanding job of research and documents. Remarkable

  4. Justus

    Next up, search warrants for Scruggs’ joint venture partners in the asbestos and tobacco litigation? If the Feds are smart, that’s where they will look before documents are “accidentally” destroyed in office fires, etc., of Scruggs’ joint venture partners.
    I also wonder if Alwyn Luckey is still mad enough at Scruggs and his clan to “sing” to the Feds in exchange for immunity?

  5. MSman

    The joint venture in asbestos was nothing like that of tabacco, implicating them together shows a lack of understanding. Alwyn Luckey and others involved in asbestos do not have to worry about wrongdoing, they are solely looking for justice and the fees Scruggs took from them to fund his tobacco litigation. In fact, in the depositions from those cases there is a wealth of evidence pointing to Scruggs’ shady back room dealings. If anything, those involved in asbestos will be waiting for their day of true justice.

  6. Justus

    MSMAN, the Luckey case only concluded in 2005. It’s Scruggs’ accusation that he fired Luckey because he “falsified asbestos settlement documentation” that shines like a beacon beckoning the DOJ. Balducci wasn’t involved in tobacco, but defended Scruggs against Luckey’s suit for legal fees from asbestos cases. Tobacco might be a second target of the investigation and come later, but they don’t have the goods on it yet. Once they put the squeeze on some of the other asbestos lawyers who were also involved in tobacco, they will start to get the info to make their case. And, if you don’t think that there was widespread fraud in the asbestos settlements, you must not have been very close to what was going on at the time.

  7. MSman

    Taking Scruggs’ word in a fee dispute case seems to be, at this point, a measure I wouldn’t advise. I guess it just goes to show that there are many sides to this whole fiasco.

  8. concerned

    read the trial transcript (i have) before you make those accusations. i dont see any indication false documents were submitted

  9. Justus

    Concerned you need to read the depositions and pleadings in Civil Action No. 1997-000456 and Civil Action No. 1994-000582 in the Circuit Court of Hinds County, Mississippi. That’s where the Luckey v. Scruggs battle began, and it eventually ended up in federal court from where you read the trial transcript. You can’t even get half of the story from the federal court material.

  10. MS Smitty

    Salter reporting on his blog that Langston’s home was also searched.
    http://www.clarionledger.com/misc/blogs/ssalter/sidblog.html

  11. Justus

    CONCERNED, on the issue of Scruggs’ accusation against Luckie, take a look at this 7/22/2005 article at djournal.com:
    http://www.djournal.com/pages/archive.asp?ID=197965
    Also, below I have cut and pasted text from that djournal.com article in case that link doesn’t work:
    ____________________
    “Scruggs has received tens of millions of dollars in attorneys fees for his participation in the tobacco litigation enterprise,” Luckey claimed in pleadings to the court, “and its prosecution of claims against tobacco companies in this court.”
    Scruggs, on the other hand, argued that Luckey deserved no portion of Asbestos Group. Scruggs fired Luckey in 1993 because, according to Scruggs’ testimony, Luckey had tried to have some dates changed on medical records dealing with asbestos claims, and staffers at Asbestos Group had refused.
    Said Davis, “The court finds and notes that the plaintiff does not challenge that Scruggs had adequate grounds to terminate his employment.”
    But Luckey wasn’t contesting his firing; instead, he wanted his percentage of the group and the fees he had earned.
    Before Luckey’s firing, Scruggs had learned from another attorney that the Asbestos Group might have problems if the partnership signed up clients. So, Scruggs and Wilson signed up the clients and Asbestos Group managed the cases.
    In effect, Scruggs argued in pleadings, Luckey had 25 percent of nothing, because Asbestos Group wasn’t bringing in clients. “And even if Luckey were right on his partnership’ analysis,” Scruggs maintained in court documents, “misconduct would terminate rights to future partnership income.”
    But Davis recognized Luckey as a partner. That meant the question centered on the effect the firing had on the relationship between Scruggs and Luckey, and whether Scruggs owed Luckey the fees after termination. It didn’t have anything to do with why Scruggs fired Luckey.
    Scruggs never dissolved Asbestos Group, said Davis, and from the date of termination in June 1993 until the present, Luckey should have received 25 percent.
    Instead, the judge said, Asbestos Group was “absorbed by successive professional corporations of Scruggs, which has complicated both the discovery in this case and the computation of the money” owed to Luckey.
    In the end, the judge computed it this way: $13,588,907.92 for Luckey, plus the fees.
    ___________________
    Hope that helps clear it up a little.
    Justus

  12. MSman

    Justus, yu are missing a big piece there – notice the change from Scruggs and Wilson to solely Scruggs never dissolving. That is where Mr. Jones comes into the matter and where he learned of Scruggs’ propensity to do what it takes to steal away shared fees.

  13. concerned

    i spent the weekend reading. if you accept scruggs’ versions (BIG IF) and discount scruggs’ motivatitions (found by jerry davis 13+ million reasons to lie), even scruggs admits no fraudulent documents were submitted to any asbestos defendant.

  14. Justus

    Msman, I understand what you are saying. I would think that we both agree that the DOJ is not looking at the Luckey case because of the merits of that case as it pertains to the issue of whether Scruggs owed Luckey legal fees – that issue has already been decided. It’s something else.

  15. Amazed

    Justus, There is something else…..How about the $50 MILLION paid to P.L. BLake? That came out in the Luckey Trial, No explanation of what Scruggs paid the money for or where it went. Mr. Blake provided WHAT for $50 MILLION? He says in his depo that he provided newspaper articles and kept up with tv events related to the MS legislator and Tobacco Industry current events. He reported back to Mr Scruggs these closely guarded MS secrets. Sounds like P.L. Blake could be a classic “Bagman” in this soap opera 🙂
    The other really odd thing is that the way the transcripts in Luckey read Langston was paid the money by Scruggs then it went to P.L. Blake. Who is P.L. Blake and how did he end up with 50 million of the tobacco money? This ain’t peanuts we are talking about, even in Mr. Scruggs world 50 Million is a TON of MONEY!!
    Maybe this is why the Feds are interested in Mr. Langston Now?
    Guys keep up the good writing! I have enjoyed following this Blog for the past few months.
    Kudos!

  16. some girl

    On a personal level, Joey is a great guy, and it is very hard to believe some of the things that have come out about him. Just remember when looking at this case, professional and personal are two different cases often, and judge his behavior as it should be, and his person as it should as well.