Richard Scruggs, the Mississippi plaintiffs' attorney who spearheaded the first state lawsuit seeking compensation for tobacco-related medical expenses from cigarette manufacturers, was sentenced to five years in prison on Friday. After Scruggs filed a lawsuit on behalf of Mississippi, many other states joined the shakedown, ultimately resulting in a settlement that brought more than $200 billion to state treasuries and billions more to lawyers like Scruggs, all at the expense of smokers forced to pay higher prices in a market rigged by a government-endorsed conspiracy in restraint of trade. But Scruggs is not going to prison for any of that. Bribing state governments with other people's money in exchange for huge kickbacks is perfectly legal. But bribing a state judge overseeing a dispute regarding your legal fees is not.
[Thanks to Bill Cook for the link.]