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Attorney who engaged in extortion scheme with former Sheriff permanently disbarred Thursday


The Kentucky Supreme Court permanently disbarred a former Williamsburg attorney Thursday, who is currently serving a federal prison sentence for his role in an extortion scheme with former Whitley County Sheriff Lawrence Hodge.

The Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion and order Thursday permanently disbarring Ronnie Wayne Reynolds and ordered him to pay $434.59 in costs related to its proceedings.

"The court finds that permanent disbarment is the only appropriate sanction for such gross misconduct," Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John Minton wrote in the Sept. 20 opinion and order.

Reynolds is currently in the midst of serving a 27-month federal prison sentence for his role in a conspiracy with Hodge to extort money from Reynolds' clients in exchange for lenient plea deals.

On March 16, 2011, Reynolds pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right in U.S. District Court in Lexington.

Reynolds agreed to forfeit $199,500 to the government, which represents the net profit he made on the deal.

In addition to whatever cash he has already forfeited to the government, Reynolds also agreed to forfeit property on Oakland Road in Laurel County that has a 1981 mobile home on it.

Reynolds admitted that on at least three occasions between 2004 and 2007, he and Hodge conspired to extort money from individuals charged with felony drug offenses in state court in exchange for favorable consideration in their cases, according to a court document.

Specifically, Reynolds admitted to making cash payments totaling $57,500 to the former sheriff so that Hodge would refer individuals charged with crimes to Reynolds for representation.

Each of these individuals expected and understood that they would face reduced charges and/or they wouldn't face any period of incarceration if they hired Reynolds based on the sheriff's recommendation, according to Reynolds plea deal.

In addition, Reynolds, acting on behalf of Hodge, also encouraged these same clients to make forfeiture payments and/or cash donations to the Whitley County Sheriff's Office.

Reynolds was suspended from practicing law the day after he pleaded guilty.

In May 2011, Hodge pleaded guilty to his role in the extortion conspiracy and to a drug and money laundering conspiracy, and is a serving a 15.5-year federal prison sentence.

Reynolds is currently incarcerated in a Nashville halfway house and is scheduled for release on Feb. 15, 2013.

Hodge is currently incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in Elkton, Ohio, and is scheduled for release on Nov. 8, 2024.

 

 

Comments

Consumer (September 21, 2012) Reply

So how do people get their money back that they paid him and he did not do a thing and still ended up going to prison for a drug offense.


Larry West (September 21, 2012) Reply

Does the public know that only one Judge dismissed all the cases for Reynolds? This Judge in now a Circuit Judge. The Judge also dissmissed DUI cases if the person charged would donate money to the sheriff. Did you know this Judge also allowed Hodge to go home and talk with others when he showed up for a court hearing. Do you think all this the money went to Hodge and Reynolds? Good luck Ronnie and may God forgive you someday for not telling the hold truth. Now your friends will go on with the "Court" without you. You must teach your daughter now. Take care my friend and David O. Smith loves you.


Javert (September 22, 2012) Reply

Ron got what he deserved. Now the rest is facing the music, Chuck Davis is being held to the fire now before the Grand Jury. His wife the lawyer Jane Butcher may not be able to get him out of this, her "good lawyering" skills are not going to help. Chuck may try to use his heart problems and retire hoping it will bring him sympathy to the grand jury. All I would like to see is him to become a "convicted felon" and see how he likes it with the shoe on the other foot. What about it Chuck? It's stinks when you are charged with a felony or any crime for that matter especially if you know you are innocent, but I don't think you are innocent. You finally got caught.


wanda (September 27, 2012) Reply

I do beleive in Karma, and may Chuck Davis and Jane Butcher get theirs! They are far from innocent in all this. I know of one case she helped with, the guy never spent a night in jail, a lb of pot , 500ft from a school 4 police officers. They wrote the ticket wrong and lost evidence, dismissed! She's good, lol.


tim (September 23, 2012) Reply

I think reynolds should serve more time, he got smacked on the hand.


wanda (September 27, 2012) Reply

I do beleive in Karma, and may Chuck Davis and Jane Butcher get theirs! They are far from innocent in all this. I know of one case she helped with, the guy never spent a night in jail, a lb of pot , 500ft from a school 4 police officers. They wrote the ticket wrong and lost evidence, dismissed! She's good, lol.

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