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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Former WV Supreme Court of Appeals Justice Menis Ketchum II Sentenced for Fraud

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Menis E. Ketchum II, age 76, of Huntington, a former Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, was sentenced to three years of probation, a $20,000 fine and was ordered to pay restitution to the State of West Virginia by Senior United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr., announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  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.

“Menis Ketchum pled guilty to a felony,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “There is no such thing as a little bit of public corruption, but Justice Ketchum at least did the right thing for doing the wrong thing.  Ketchum accepted responsibility for his misdeeds by resigning from the court and acknowledging his wrongdoing.  It is my sincere hope that we may soon be able to end our investigation of the West Virginia Supreme Court and allow the people of West Virginia to move forward with confidence and respect for a court that is often the ultimate judge on critical matters affecting all West Virginians.  I want to thank my prosecutors, Assistant United States Attorney Phil Wright and former Assistant United States Attorney Anna Forbes, along with our federal and state law enforcement partners, for their excellent work in this case.”

Justice Ketchum pled guilty to wire fraud in August 2018.  Ketchum served as a Supreme Court Justice from January 1, 2008 through July 27, 2018.  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.  In particular, on August 6, 2014, he traveled to the private golf club in a State vehicle, and returned to his home on August 9, 2014.  During the return trip to Huntington, Ketchum used a State fuel card to purchase gasoline in Princeton, West Virginia, causing an interstate wire communication. 

Assistant United States Attorney Phil Wright and former Assistant United States Attorney L. Anna Forbes handled the prosecution.

 

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Topic(s): 
Public Corruption
Updated March 6, 2019