FEDERAL JUDGE ORDERS ATTORNEY ANGELA FORD TO SUBMIT ACCOUNTING OF HER HANDLING OF CLIENTS FUNDS

On June 29th.  U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves ordered Lexington Attorney Angela Ford to provide a “full and complete accounting of all funds collected by her in the civil action captioned Abbott, et al. v. Chesley, et al., Commonwealth of Kentucky, Boone Circuit Court, Civil Action No. 05-CI- 00436, and not distributed to victims.”

After the Boone Circuit Court issued a Summary Judgment against William Gallion, Shirley Cunningham, Melbourne Mills, et al, Angela Ford began to attach cash and property of the defendants.   The defendants appealed to the Court of Appeals but were unable to post a $40 million supercedas bond, so Ford was allowed to continue to seize their funds.

Some reports indicate that Judge Reeves appointed Ford to serve as a Victims Advocate to be trustee of these funds.   Not all of the parties are represented by Angela Ford.    It is still unclear whether or not she has paid herself an attorneys fee of $13,000,000, or is she holding funds in trust.   This is an issue since the Court of Appeals set aside the Summary Judgment of the Boone Circuit Court.    The U.S. Attorneys office sought the accounting and raised the question that Ford had been uncooperative in accounting for her handling of client’s and non-clients funds.

It is reported to LawReader that  none of the parties asked that this accounting be sealed, but Judge Reeves  on his own, ordered that Ford’s report be sealed, so the report is not reviewable by LawReader and the public.

Several questions are on the table.   Why should Ford be entitled to a fee when she does not have a current judgment supporting her lawsuit.  The Ct. of Appeals reversed the Boone Circuit Court summary judgment, and the issue is on appeal to the Ky. Supreme Court.

Why was this accounting sealed?  The KBA in their ethics prosecution of Judge Joseph Bamberger argued that one of their claims against him was that he sealed certain orders.   Whose interest is being served by this order sealing the accounting?  It may protect Angela Ford, but does it serve the interests of the plaintiffs she represents?  Does it serve the interest of the clients she does not represent but whose funds are being held in trust by her as the Victim’s Advocate?

Another way the original plaintiff’s can be paid is through the restitution order issued by Judge Reeves after the Federal Jury found the Fen Phen attorneys guilty in their second criminal trial.   That conviction is on appeal, and is not final.

If the Federal prosecutors obtained a valid restitution order why should Angela Ford be entitled to a $13 million dollar fee for work done by the U.S. Government?

See copy of Judge Reeves ruling:

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

EASTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY

NORTHERN DIVISION

(at Covington)

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

Plaintiff,

V.

WILLIAM J. GALLION and

SHIRLEY A. CUNNINGHAM, JR.,

Defendants.

Criminal Action No. 2: 07-39-S-DCR

ORDER

*** *** *** ***

This matter is pending for consideration of the United States’ motion for an accounting

of funds held by attorney Angela Ford. Having reviewed the motion, the Court does not believe that a response is needed.

Further, the exigencies presented support a prompt ruling on this motion. Accordingly, being sufficiently advised, it is hereby

ORDERED that the United States’ motion [Record No. 1283] is GRANTED.

Within ten (10) days of the entry of this Order, attorney Angela Ford is DIRECTED to provide a full and complete accounting of all funds collected by her in the civil action captioned Abbott, et al. v. Chesley, et al., Commonwealth of Kentucky, Boone Circuit Court, Civil Action No. 05-CI- 00436, and not distributed to victims.

The accounting shall include the location of all funds.

This 29th day of June, 2011.

(signed by U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves)

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