Former Supreme Court Justice Charged with Wire Fraud
CHARLESTON, W. Va. – United States Attorney Mike Stuart announced today that former West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Justice Menis E. Ketchum II, age 75, was charged by Information with wire fraud. Justice Ketchum served as a Supreme Court Justice from January 1, 2008 through July 27, 2018.
“Corruption by public officials – any public official – is a priority of my office,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “The people of West Virginia have worked too hard and too long to tolerate misconduct that strikes at the heart of the public’s trust by their elected officials. I believe it is a fundamental right of every West Virginian to have honest government with public officials worthy of the greatness of our citizens.”
The Information relates to Justice Ketchum’s repeated personal use of a State of West Virginia vehicle and State fuel credit card over the course of 2011 through 2014 in connection with his travel from his home in Huntington, West Virginia to and from a private golf club in western Virginia. The roundtrip mileage for each of these golf outings was approximately 400 miles and cost the taxpayers of West Virginia approximately $220 per trip.
Stuart praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the West Virginia Legislative Commission on Special Investigations, and the Internal Revenue Service—Criminal Investigation Division.
“Throughout this investigation and including today’s filing of a federal information against Justice Ketchum, the system worked,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “This is not a sad day for West Virginia but, rather, a day in which our citizens should be comforted. We are now one step closer to ending the crisis of this court.”
"West Virginians deserve public officials they can trust and who will represent them honestly and fairly," said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Nick Boshears. "The public needs to know they can have the highest confidence those who violate their trust will be held accountable."
The Information carries a penalty of up to 20 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and a term of supervised release of up to 3 years.
Please note: An Information is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.