Court denies Arledge appeal

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Without comment, the U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to hear the appeal of former Vicksburg attorney Robert Arledge, convicted in 2007 on conspiracy and mail and wire fraud charges in a case involving knowingly making false claims to a diet drug settlement fund.

Arledge, 51, is serving a six-year sentence in an Alabama federal prison. The scheme netted more than $6.7 million from drug company Wyeth, then American Home Products and a maker of Fen-Phen, a prescription diet drug pulled from the market in 1997 after research revealed it could cause heart problems.

Claims of about $250,000 each were paid based on faked claims to have taken the drugs or suffered ill-effects.

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No other attorneys have been charged in the probe and part of Arledge’s appeal in December before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dealt with clients of other lawyers. The three-member appeals panel did agree to lower the $5.8 million restitution Arledge was ordered to pay because three claims against the drug maker were found to be legitimate.

Also, federal sentencing guidelines were upheld by the 5th Circuit because the acts of fraud lasted into 2002, past the deadline for using previous statutes.

In 2002, Arledge ran unsuccessfully for judge of Warren County Court and Warren County Youth Court. After the conviction, he was disbarred.


Contact Danny Barrett Jr. at