Incarcerated Curlin Lawyers Ask for Release

Three lawyers jailed while awaiting trial on charges of bilking clients of millions of dollars in a diet-drug settlement will get a chance to argue for their freedom while awaiting trial.

A federal judge has scheduled a hearing for Aug. 21 for William Gallion, Shirley Cunningham Jr., and Melbourne Mills, according to the Associated Press. Gallion and Cunningham are minority owners in Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Curlin.

In a two-page order issued Aug. 14, U.S. District Judge William Bertelsman also required the federal probation office to calculate the maximum and minimum sentences the men could face, and prepare a comprehensive financial statement on all three lawyers.

Bertelsman didn’t say what prompted the hearing, only that there is now information not known when he sent them to jail. All three men appealed their imprisonment.

Lawyers for the attorneys couldn’t immediately be reached for comment, the AP reported.

On Aug. 10, Bertelsman agreed to the lawyers’ request to push their trial date back to Jan. 7, 2008, but ordered the men held until then. The trial had been set for Oct. 15. Bertelsman noted the lawyers haven’t accounted for the money in question, and that a civil court has ruled they owe up to $62 million to their clients, according to the published report.

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