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F. Lee Bailey’s trail of troubles now stretches to Orlando, where he faces federal civil contempt charges next month. Come Aug. 17, the renowned defense attorney will be in court to tell U.S. District Judge Patricia C. Fawsett why he refused to give the government $2 million from a Cayman Islands legal defense fund in connection with a mail and wire fraud case. Bailey claims the money is due him as legal fees. He already faces disbarment in Florida for saying the same thing after he funneled $3.6 million from a convicted drug trafficker’s account into his own. A Florida Bar referee said Bailey had no right to the money and lied under oath to a federal judge. The current proceeding arose from the case against late-night real estate infomercial moguls William J. and Chantal McCorkle. The pair set up the offshore account after their arrest, hiring Bailey and three other lawyers. A jury found them guilty in 1998 and ordered them to forfeit $10.6 million to the government. They were sentenced to 24 years each but have appealed. Prosecutors demanded that Bailey cough up $2 million he had disbursed from the offshore fund. He said the money was his. The government prevailed, arguing the money came from the fruits of the McCorkles’ crimes. Even if Bailey wins the contempt battle, his headaches with the case will continue. Fawsett has said she plans to file an ethics complaint against him and made it clear that prosecutors reserve the right to bring criminal charges.

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