There was a time when Zach Scruggs seemed to have it all, graduating cum laude in his law class before joining the successful firm started by his father, legendary attorney Richard “Dickie” Scruggs.
But on Wednesday, Zach Scruggs will stand before the same federal judge who recently sentenced his father to five years in prison for his role in a judicial bribery conspiracy.
Prosecutors have recommended probation for the 34-year-old Zach Scruggs, who pleaded guilty to knowing about the high-profile crime and not reporting it to authorities. He will lose his law license.
It’s not clear if U.S. District Judge Neal Biggers Jr. will accept the recommended sentence, though he did stick with the plea agreement for the other defendants. The judge has expressed disappointment in what he considered Zach Scruggs’ lack of remorse.
Zach Scruggs’ lawyer, however, former Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore, said Tuesday his client “is very remorseful and contrite about his involvement in this case and he is hoping and praying that the court will honor the government’s recommendation because of his minimal involvement.”
In sentencing Dickie Scruggs last Friday, Biggers said it was clear that Zach also participated in the scheme to influence Lafayette County Circuit Judge Henry Lackey to send the case to arbitration.
Zach Scruggs “looked at the order, proposed order, made comments on it before it was to be submitted to Judge Lackey; and he was there when this scheme first started,” Biggers said.