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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of West Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 23, 2018

Former WV Supreme Court of Appeals Justice Menis Ketchum II Pleads Guilty to 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, pled guilty to wire fraud.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the West Virginia Legislature’s Commission on Special Investigations, and the Internal Revenue Service—Criminal Investigation Division conducted the investigation.

“Justice Ketchum did the right thing for doing the wrong thing,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “There is no such thing as a small felony.  There is no such thing as a little bit of public corruption.  I want to praise the exemplary work of the FBI, the West Virginia Legislature’s Commission on Special Investigations, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, and prosecutors Anna Forbes and Phil Wright.”

Justice Ketchum served as a Supreme Court Justice from January 1, 2008 through July 27, 2018.  During that time, he admitted to 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.

Justice Ketchum faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on December 6, 2018.

United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. presided over the plea hearing.  Assistant United States Attorneys Anna Forbes and Phil Wright are handling the prosecution.

The plea agreeement can be found here.

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Topic(s): 
Public Corruption
Updated August 23, 2018