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Location: Houston, Texas, United States

My name is David Stone. I live in Houston, Texas. I am a 30-something single white male. I am an Orthodox Christian and am a member of an English-language parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR).

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Breaking News: FBI Raids Scruggs Office in Mississippi

From the Mississippi Sun Herald:

FBI issues warrant on Scruggs' office

-- The FBI in Jackson has been searching the Scruggs Law Firm on The Square since 10:30 this morning for a specific document that is "ancillary" to Hurricane Katrina insurance litigation, attorney Joey Langston said this afternoon.

The FBI confirmed this morning that a search warrant had been executed at the law firm headed by high-profile attorney Richard "Dickie" Scruggs, who successfully sued Big Tobacco and has represented hundreds of policyholders suing insurance companies over Katrina damage.
FBI agents were barring all but employees from the office Tuesday during the ongoing search.

"It is a search warrant for a thing, a document," Langston said. "I don't think anyone has made an allegation that the Scruggs Law Firm has done anything improper or illegal. I think that the federal authorities will probably learn when they complete their investigation that whatever the allegation of wrongdoing is that the Scruggses were not involved in any wrongdoing."

Langston would not provide any further information about the document the FBI was seeking, other that it involves one case.

FBI media coordinator Deborah Madden said only that the warrant was issued "in furtherance of an ongoing investigation," but would not comment further.

Langston said the search warrant was served on the law firm, not on Scruggs or his son, Zach Scruggs, also an attorney with the firm. He said the warrant was unnecessary because the Scruggses would have cooperated with any request for records from the federal government.

A search warrant must be based on evidence, but Langston said the sworn statement used to gain the warrant in this case is under seal, so nobody from the Scruggs Firm knows who made allegations or what they were specifically.

"This is a surprise to everybody connected to the Scruggs Firm," Langston said, "but I've got to tell you people who are very high profile and very successful have to contend with unpleasantries and this is unpleasant, but we'll contend with it."

He also said: "We just are hesitant to try to be more specific about it with the public or the media until we know more ourselves. We think we'll learn that the information on which the federal authorities have acted will turn out not to be legitimate."

Langston did say the document sought is unrelated to an ongoing legal battle in Alabama over State Farm records Scruggs obtained from two whistle-blowers who adjusted Katrina claims for the company. State Farm has claimed the whistle-blowers pilfered records pertaining to Scruggs clients, then left to work for his firm.

The search also is unrelated to a lawsuit State Farm has filed in federal court in Jackson to stop a criminal investigation by Attorney General Jim Hood. The federal government has a separate, ongoing investigation of State Farm. The insurer has denied any wrongdoing.



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