Zach Scruggs, the 34-year-old scion of fallen plaintiffs’ attorney Richard “Dickie” Scruggs, will serve a 14-month prison term for failing to report that his father and others, including himself, were plotting to bribe a circuit judge.
At a morning hearing, Senior Judge Neal Biggers Jr. sentenced the slender, blond-haired lawyer in a U.S. District courtroom packed with family and friends.
In addition to the 14 months in prison, Biggers ordered Scruggs to pay a $250,000 fine, which includes the cost of incarceration, and serve a year of supervised probation upon his release.
His attorneys said they will ask that Scruggs not report to prison until October, when his third child is born. Biggers said he would consider the request.
Many courtroom observers seemed surprised by the sentence. During his change-of-plea hearing more than a month ago, federal prosecutors recommended probation and dismissal of the conspiracy charges.
The Virginia-born Scruggs could have received up to three years in prison after pleading guilty March 21 to misprision of a felony.
That was a far cry from what he was facing before March 21 – six counts of conspiracy to bribe an elected public official, in this case Circuit Judge Henry Lackey of Calhoun City.
Under those terms, if found guilty, he could have received up to 75 years in prison, $1.5 million in fines and 18 years supervised probation.
NE MS Daily Journal