Fugitive lawyer teases prosecutor on Twitter

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Being on the run in Central America has not doused the spirits of an American lawyer wanted for fraud, as he found time to greet a prosecutor after being the first to follow him on Twitter earlier this month.

After following Fred Giggenbach on Twitter, lawyer William Lester tweeted to the assistant Kanawha County prosecutor: “My Man Fred! Welcome to Twitter. Send my Best to All!”

Lester faces charges of fraudulent schemes and computer fraud stemming from allegedly billing West Virginia for work he did not do, according to a report from the Charleston Gazette-Mail. Over a two year period, the lawyer is said to have billed the government more than $600,000 for court-appointed work as a criminal defence lawyer.

The investigation found that the lawyer billed the state for more than 24 hours a day on at least 17 days, local station WCHS said. He did not show up for his arraignment last summer, when he was believed to be in Costa Rica.

Giggenbach said that prosecutors are aware that Lester has internet access. However, they do not want to go deeper into what authorities are doing to apprehend him. Prosecutors are working with the US Marshal Service and an international extradition effort is underway.

“Every time I saw him he’d say the same thing, ‘My man, Fred,’” Giggenbach told the Gazette-Mail.
“Maybe we can tweet him a plea deal,” he joked.

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