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Judge denies phen-fen trial request

A federal judge refused Friday to delay the trial of two Lexington-area lawyers accused of cheating their clients out of millions of dollars in a diet-drug settlement.

An attorney for William Gallion, charged with one count of conspiracy and eight counts of wire fraud, had asked U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves to hold the trial in April. Reeves has said he wants the case tried no later than February.

Gallion's attorney said he had commitments in other cases.

On Friday, Reeves entered an order denying the request. He said a trial date needs to be set within 70 days of Thursday, when Shirley Cunningham Jr. and Gallion are scheduled to be arraigned in U.S. District Court in Covington.

"Simply stated, such a delay is unacceptable," Reeves wrote. "Both the United States and the public are entitled to resolution of this matter as directed by the Speedy Trial Act."

Reeves has offered trial dates in October and February.

Federal prosecutors say Gallion and Cunningham took $94 million that should have gone to 440 former clients in a lawsuit against the maker of fen-phen.

A grand jury indicted the lawyers on the new wire fraud charges this week.