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June 27, 2008 1:56 PM

Judge to Scruggs: Take Five

Posted by Ross Todd

Breaking news from Mississippi this afternoon: Dickie Scruggs, the man who pressured Big Tobacco into a $248 billion settlement in 1998, received the maximum five-year sentence for his involvement in a scheme to bribe a state circuit court judge.

"I could not be more ashamed to be where I am today," Scruggs told  federal judge Neal Biggers, Jr.,  before the sentence was handed down, according to the Biloxi Sun-Herald. "I realized I was getting mixed up in it, and I will go to my grave wondering why. I have disappointed everyone in my life--my wife, family, and friends here to support me today. I deeply regret my conduct. It is a scar and a stain on my soul."

Judge Biggers responded by calling Scruggs actions "reprehensible," giving him the maximum prison sentence, ordering Scruggs to pay for his own incarceration, and fining him $250,000.

As reported by The American Lawyer, the sentencing caps a string of bad results for Scruggs. In March, senior writer Susan Beck chronicled his work after the blockbuster tobacco settlement and found a trail of high-profile suits, but few notable successes.

Scruggs is set to report to prison on August 4. For an idea of what Scruggs can expect in prison, check out this article from the May edition of The American Lawyer.

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