Advertisement

Martinsburg woman admits lying in probe of law firm

December 01, 2010|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.u@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va.  — A Martinsburg woman has admitted lying to a federal grand jury during an investigation of the law firm where she worked as the office manager.U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II said Wednesday that 52-year-old Nancy P. Burkhart pleaded guilty Monday to one perjury count.The plea agreement entered on Monday would bind U.S. District Judge John P. Bailey to sentence Burkhart to serve probation, according to court records.The term of probation would be set by the judge, if he agrees to the plea agreement.As part of the agreement, prosecutors would also move to dismiss the remaining three counts of perjury contained in an indictment returned by a grand jury this year and a 112-count indictment in 2007 that alleges she and her former boss, Heidi J. Silver Myers, submitted false vouchers to the state totaling nearly $275,000.In the perjury case, Burkhart admitted giving false testimony to the grand jury in 2006 during a federal and state investigation of billings submitted by Myers Law Group to the state Public Defenders Service. Burkhart testified that she didn’t know anything about a missing computer server, which she had helped a lawyer remove from the office.Ihelnfeld alleged that members of the law firm fraudulently billed the Public Defenders Service for hundreds of thousands of dollars.A sentencing hearing had not been set as of Wednesday afternoon, said Barry P. Beck, Burkhart’s attorney. Myers, whose license to practice law has been annulled, pleaded guilty in April 2010, to one count of aiding and abetting mail fraud, and one count of aiding and abetting wire fraud. Myers’ attorney, S. Andrew Arnold, said Wednesday that a sentencing hearing had not yet been scheduled, but it will take place after Burkhart’s case is adjudicated.  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 — had been scheduled to begin on Tuesday.The fraud case was combined with the perjury allegations earlier this year, Arnold confirmed.Myers, who owned Myers Law Group in Martinsburg, and Burkhart were 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, records state.Myers has divorced since being indicted and now goes by Heidi J. Silver.The Associated Press contributed to this story.A Martinsburg woman has admitted lying to a federal grand jury during an investigation of the law firm where she worked as the office manager.U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II said Wednesday that 52-year-old Nancy P. Burkhart pleaded guilty Monday to one perjury count.The plea agreement entered on Monday would bind U.S. District Judge John P. Bailey to sentence Burkhart to serve probation, according to court records.The term of probation would be set by the judge, if he agrees to the plea agreement.As part of the agreement, prosecutors would also move to dismiss the remaining three counts of perjury contained in an indictment returned by a grand jury this year and a 112-count indictment in 2007 that alleges she and her former boss, Heidi J. Silver Myers, submitted false vouchers to the state totaling nearly $275,000.In the perjury case, Burkhart admitted giving false testimony to the grand jury in 2006 during a federal and state investigation of billings submitted by Myers Law Group to the state Public Defenders Service. Burkhart testified that she didn’t know anything about a missing computer server, which she had helped a lawyer remove from the office.Ihelnfeld alleged that members of the law firm fraudulently billed the Public Defenders Service for hundreds of thousands of dollars.A sentencing hearing had not been set as of Wednesday afternoon, said Barry P. Beck, Burkhart’s attorney. Myers, whose license to practice law has been annulled, pleaded guilty in April 2010, to one count of aiding and abetting mail fraud, and one count of aiding and abetting wire fraud. Myers’ attorney, S. Andrew Arnold, said Wednesday that a sentencing hearing had not yet been scheduled, but it will take place after Burkhart’s case is adjudicated.  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 — had been scheduled to begin on Tuesday.The fraud case was combined with the perjury allegations earlier this year, Arnold confirmed.Myers, who owned Myers Law Group in Martinsburg, and Burkhart were 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, records state.Myers has divorced since being indicted and now goes by Heidi J. Silver.The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Advertisement
The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|