Younger Scruggs also gets prison

Scruggs had hoped for probation. His attorneys were unprepared to tell Biggers where Scruggs hoped to serve the sentence because they had not expected him to go to prison.

One of those attorneys, former Attorney General Mike Moore, asked that Scruggs be allowed to suggest a location in a legal brief that will also request his sentence begin after his wife gives birth to their third child in October.

Biggers exhibited little patience for Moore’s argument that Zach Scruggs did not know his father paid Lackey $40,000 for an order in a legal-fee dispute filed against the Scruggs Katrina Group of attorneys.

Dickie Scruggs and firm member Sidney Backstrom, who admitted they conspired to bribe the judge for an order in the case, were sentenced to prison Friday and ordered to pay fines of $250,000 each. Biggers gave Dickie Scruggs the maximum of five years and Backstrom 28 months.

Lackey had tipped investigators to the bribery overture in March 2007 and recorded conversations with the middleman, New Albany attorney Timothy Balducci, who had long known and admired Lackey.

When the FBI confronted Balducci with the taped evidence Nov. 1, 2007, Balducci agreed to wear a wire that afternoon to the Scruggs Law Firm. He talked to Backstrom and Zach Scruggs about Lackey’s proposed order to send the legal-fee dispute to arbitration.

“The evidence in this case shows that you were fully aware of this corruption – attempted corruption of Judge Lackey,” Biggers said.

Sun Herald
7/3/8