Ohio County Magistrate Indicted on a Myriad of Finance Related Fraud Charges

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Crooked Magistrate Exploiting the System

An Ohio County Magistrate, Harry A. Radcliffe, III, is the target of a federal grand jury indictment. The charges include wire fraud, bribery, and tax fraud. Specifically, the indictment details one count of “Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud, Federal Program Bribery, and Travel Act Bribery,” three counts of “Wire Fraud,” one count of “Federal Program Bribery,” one count of “Travel Act Bribery,” and three counts of “Filing a False Income Tax Return.”

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The details of Radcliffe’s transgressions, especially given his “Magistrate” title, are deeply troubling and demonstrate a tremendous lack of judgement. For the record, Radcliffe’s illegal activities include soliciting and accepting bribes from W&S Bail Bonding, a company in Wheeling, West Virginia. To further complicate the situation, Radcliffe goes to great lengths to conceal the bribes from the State of West Virginia and the IRS. He does so by directing defendants and their families to the bonding company without offering other options, as required. Further, Radcliffe alters bonds by making a requirement to utilize a bonding company. As part of the scheme, Radcliffe then collects his bribes via credit card and interstate travel. In the end, Radcliffe also fails to report income on federal income tax returns over the course of his crimes, occurring from January 2012 to April 2016.

Do The Crime, Do The Time

Radcliffe, for his transgressions, faces a several monetary fines and decades behind bars. On the conspiracy count alone, Radcliffe faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Each wire fraud count stipulates up to 20 years incarceration and a $250,000 fine. Further, the federal bribery count provides for up to 10 years incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000. Not to mention, the travel act count provides up to five years incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000. And finally, the false income tax return count provides up to three years incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000. Despite the hefy penalties, the actual sentence is determined on the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history of Radcliffe.