FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2004
TDD (202) 514-1888
WEST VIRGINIA DEFENDANT PLEADS GUILTY TO
FALSELY CLAIMING TO "FIX" FEDERAL CASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Assistant Attorney General Christopher A. Wray of the Criminal Division and Kenneth T. McCabe, Special Agent in Charge of the Pittsburgh Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), announced today that a former attorney pled guilty as charged in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia for scheming to bilk money from a defendant in a separate federal criminal case.
Carl R. Mapel, Jr. pled guilty to all three counts of an indictment that charged him and co-defendant Mark A. Reynolds with aiding and abetting each other in two counts of wire fraud and one count of obstruction of justice. FBI agents previously arrested Mapel and Reynolds on March 25, 2004, and they have each been detained as a flight risk by the U.S. District Court since their preliminary and detention hearings on March 30, 2004.
According to the indictment and Mapel’s statements in pleading guilty, Mapel appeared last year in federal court in the Southern District of West Virginia as a criminal defense attorney, though he is actually not authorized to practice law in West Virginia or elsewhere. The indictment further alleges, and Mapel admitted in open court, that he and Reynolds made false statements to the defendant in the underlying case concerning that defendant’s upcoming sentencing on a criminal matter. According to the indictment and Mapel’s plea proceedings, Mapel and Reynolds falsely represented that they could purchase leniency for the defendant through a political party and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia.
Chief Judge David A. Faber accepted the plea, found Mapel guilty, and set sentencing for July 14, 2004. Mapel faces up to 20 years in prison on each of the wire fraud charges, and 10 years in prison on the obstruction of justice charge.
Reynolds was separately arraigned, and entered a plea of not guilty. His trial was set for June 16, 2004. Defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia is recused from this case, in which the government is represented from Washington, D.C., by Trial Attorneys Richard C. Pilger and Shaun M. Palmer of the Public Integrity Section of the Department of Justice, headed by Section Chief Noel L. Hillman.