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OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA

William J. Ihlenfeld, II
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY


1125 Chapline Street, Federal Building, Suite 3000 ● Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-0100 ● Contact: Fawn E. Thomas, Public Affairs Specialist

 

December 1, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Martinsburg Resident Enters Plea of Guilty
to Perjury Charge

 

MARTINSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA - A 52 year old Martinsburg, West Virginia, resident entered a plea of guilty on November 29, 2010, in United States District Court in Martinsburg before Magistrate Judge David J. Joel.

United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced that NANCY P. BURKHART entered a plea of guilty to one count of committing perjury before a Federal Grand Jury on December 5, 2006. BURKHART appeared before the Grand Jury, under oath, and gave perjured testimony about evidence which was being sought by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the West Virginia Commission on Special Investigations as part of their investigation into the fraudulent billing activities of the law firm where the defendant worked as the office manager. The investigation revealed that members of the law office were engaged in an illegal scheme to defraud the Public Defender’s Services for the State of West Virginia out of hundreds of thousands of dollars meant for the payment of attorney fees for residents who could not otherwise afford to retain legal counsel. BURKHART falsely testified to the Grand Jury that she had no knowledge regarding the law firm’s missing computer server. Information concerning the server’s location was critical to the investigation, and the false testimony given by BURKHART delayed the investigation. The investigation later revealed that the computer server had been removed by a lawyer in the office, and that BURKHART knew of this activity and had assisted the lawyer in removing the server and in planning to destroy it. The missing server contained information which demonstrated the manner in which the fraudulent bills were prepared. The evidence showed that BURKHART knew of the scheme and that she profited financially from it.

BURKHART is currently free on bond pending sentencing. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Paul T. Camilletti and Thomas O. Mucklow and was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the West Virginia Commission on Special Investigations.

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