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Attorney's office manager indicted on four counts of perjury

May 21, 2010|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- The office manager for a Martinsburg attorney who was charged in 2007 with defrauding the state's Public Defender Services was indicted this week in federal court on four counts of perjury stemming from the fraud case.

Nancy P. Burkhart, 51, was released on a $15,000 personal recognizance bond Thursday after appearing before Magistrate David Joel to be arraigned, according to district court records.

Burkhart allegedly committed perjury before a grand jury in November and December 2006, according to the indictment.

In 2007, Burkhart and her former boss, Heidi J. Silver Myers, each were named in a 112-count indictment that alleges they submitted false vouchers to the state totaling nearly $275,000.

Myers, whose license to practice law has been annulled, pleaded guilty April 1 to one count of aiding and abetting mail fraud, and one count of aiding and abetting wire fraud. She has not been sentenced.

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Burkhart's trial on the charges contained in the 2007 indictment -- one count of conspiracy, 99 counts of mail fraud and 12 counts of wire fraud -- was rescheduled this week until Nov. 30, according to a status hearing order signed Tuesday by U.S. District Judge John P. Bailey.

Myers, who owned Myers Law Group in Martinsburg, and Burkhart have been accused of conspiring to submit vouchers to Public Defender Services for court-appointed work that Myers did not perform. Other vouchers falsely billed the agency at the $45-per-hour rate for attorney time when the work was performed by paralegals or other employees of the law firm, according to the 2007 indictment. The women allegedly conducted the voucher scheme from July 2004 to July 6, 2006.

Myers has divorced since being indicted and now goes by Heidi J. Silver.

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