Bond Hearing Delayed for Jailed Curlin Owners

Three lawyers jailed while awaiting trial on charges of bilking clients of millions of dollars in a diet drug settlement will have to wait a little longer to see if they'll be freed.

A federal judge postponed a bond hearing scheduled for Aug. 21 for William Gallion, Shirley Cunningham Jr., and Melbourne Mills. Gallion and Cunningham are minority owners in Preakness (gr. I) winner Curlin.

In a 10-page order issued Aug. 20, U.S. District Judge William Bertelsman said because the three attorneys appealed the order to put them in jail, he'll let the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals decide if it was the right call.

Earlier this month, 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 later scheduled a hearing for Aug. 21 in an effort, he said, to find a way to release the men from jail, yet ensure they don't hide the money in question and show up for court. Bertelsman said the men have never accounted for the money and remain a flight risk.

A civil court has ruled that they owe at least $42 million to their clients.

Separately, Gallion’s attorneys filed a motion asking Bertelsman to recuse himself from the criminal case. In a supporting affidavit seeking the disqualification, Gallion accuses the judge of having a “personal bias and prejudice towards the defendants … based on information the court obtained from sources other than the record in this case.”

(The Blood-Horse staff reports contributed to this article).

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