FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
THURSDAY, JANUARY 6, 2005
TDD (202) 514-1888
WEST VIRGINIA DEFENDANT SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS
FOR FALSELY CLAIMING TO ‘FIX’ FEDERAL CASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Assistant Attorney General Christopher A. Wray of the Criminal Division and Philip J. Rendin, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Pittsburgh Division of the FBI, announced today that a West Virginia man has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for a scheme in which he falsely claimed that he could “fix” a federal prosecution.
Mark Anthony Reynolds, 42, of Fairmont, West Virginia was sentenced by the Hon. David A. Faber, Chief Judge of the Southern District of West Virginia in Beckley, West Virginia. In addition to the prison sentence, Faber ordered Reynolds to pay $32,000 in restitution and sentenced him to three years of supervised release after his term of incarceration is over.
Reynolds was found guilty by a federal jury in August 2005 of wire fraud and obstruction of justice charges in a scheme to bilk money from a defendant in a separate federal criminal case. Co-defendant Carl R. Mapel, Jr., a former attorney, previously pleaded guilty to wire fraud and obstruction of justice charges and will be sentenced Feb. 10, 2005.
FBI agents previously arrested Mapel and Reynolds on March 25, 2004 on a criminal complaint. According to the subsequent 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. Mapel and Reynolds further made false statements to the defendant in the underlying case concerning the defendant’s upcoming sentencing on a criminal matter. In convicting Reynolds last summer, the jury found that Reynolds falsely represented that he and Mapel could purchase leniency for the defendant through a political party, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia, and the presiding judge.
“Today’s lengthy sentence demonstrates that the Department of Justice will aggressively pursue and prosecute any individual who seeks to appropriate the integrity of the judicial process for his own personal gain,” said Assistant Attorney General Wray.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia is recused from this case, in which the government was 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. The investigation was handled by the Charleston, West Virginia Resident Agency of the FBI.