Criminal Defense Attorney John Michael Barclay of Barclay Law, LLC Assists Client in Avoiding Prison Sentence for Charges Involving Fraudulent Loans

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White collar defense attorney John Michael Barclay of Barclay Law, LLC recently negotiated with federal prosecutors to help his client, who could have been sentenced to up to five years in prison, obtain a probation sentence.

After careful consideration of all arguments and advisory recommendations of the United States Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge sentenced him to probation.

Experienced Birmingham, AL criminal defense attorney John Michael Barclay of Barclay Law, LLC recently helped a client – who was charged in connection with allegedly submitting fraudulent mortgage loan applications – receive a probationary sentence despite a prison recommendation by the United States Government.

Barclay today said he thought his client received a “very fair sentence” and complimented and thanked the United States District Judge presiding over the case for considering his client’s entire life when handing down the sentence, rather than a few bad decisions.

“I am pleased with the plea agreement we reached with the prosecution. Along with the sentencing memorandum I filed on behalf of my client and the mercy of Judge Coogler, my client remains a free man and continues to rehabilitate his life and reputation,” Barclay said. “Conspiracy in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371 – to which my client entered a plea of guilty – is a crime that requires the hard work of a knowledgeable white collar criminal defense attorney. I provided information to the Judge about my client’s background, and we offered testimony from his supporters at sentencing. After careful consideration of all arguments and advisory recommendations of the United States Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge sentenced him to probation.”

Barclay said he was pleased with the Judge’s Jan. 22 decision in the case, which was heard in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama (Case No. 2:13-CR-170).

“When I accepted this case, there was not a lot of hope on my client’s part,” Barclay said. "However, I was able to give him hope and eventually that hope came to fruition at sentencing. My client will keep his current job and his freedom.”

Barclay said his client paid restitution of $41,460.60 to the financial institution victims following the sentencing.

“I believe Judge’s decision was fair, based on the totality of the circumstances and the arguments we presented in various Court filings,” Barclay said.

Barclay’s client entered a guilty plea on Sept. 24, 2013, to a charge of conspiracy to defraud a federally insured financial institution by either making or transmitting false statements and reports intended to influence a financial institution in connection with the sale of residential properties, according to a press release submitted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Alabama (Former Executive Director Pleads Guilty To Theft From JCCEO,” Sept. 24, 2013).

Barclay’s client’s charges are related to a scheme involving Ruth Gayle Cunningham and Kelli E. Caulfield, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. Cunningham, a former nonprofit executive director, pleaded guilty on Sept. 24 to stealing close to $500,000 from the Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity (JCCEO), according to the press release. According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, she used the money to pay for personal mortgages and repairs on personal properties.

Cunningham’s daughter, Caulfield, who worked for JCCEO with her mother, was sentenced Jan. 27 to 8 months’ home confinement and three years’ supervised probation related to the scheme to which the Assistant US Attorney on the case objected, according to a report in on Jan. 27, 2014. According to the news report, she had pleaded guilty in September to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s office. reports that the Judge ordered Caulfield to pay restitution, but Cunningham has repaid the money in full to the JCCEO’s insurance company.

Cunningham is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 26, according to Another defendant in the case, Robert Paul Hollman, is to be sentenced March 3, according to the news report.

About Barclay Law, LLC

Criminal defense attorney John Michael Barclay of Birmingham litigates on behalf of clients facing traffic, felony and misdemeanor charges in courts throughout Alabama; from Birmingham and Montgomery to Tuscaloosa, Mobile and the Gulf Coast. As the founding member of Barclay Law, LLC, he assists clients facing a variety of difficult legal challenges, including white collar defense, DUI charges, drug offenses and other serious criminal matters. Attorney Barclay believes that everyone charged in the State of Alabama, regardless of how big or small, deserves a fearless and dedicated defense lawyer. He is a skilled negotiator who is beholden to his profession and is guided by the belief that he has the ability to zealously represent his clients regardless of where in Alabama or in what Court they have been charged. This latest result is a proud moment for Mr. Barclay’s practice, and he looks forward to helping those charged with similar crimes in the future.

Mr. Barclay has been consistently named one of Birmingham Magazine's Top Attorneys in the areas of Criminal Defense. He also has been included in the magazine’s prestigious list of Alabama Super Lawyers™ Rising Stars in 2012 and 2013. Selection is made by lawyers chosen for the highly respected Super Lawyers Honor who are asked to nominate the best attorneys they have worked with under the age of 40 or who have been practicing for 10 years or less. No more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in any state can be named a Rising Star. Attorney Barclay also has one of the highest Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review AV Ratings for attorneys in Alabama, receiving an AV® Preeminent™ score of 4.7 out of 5 in Criminal Law, Litigation and Family Law. Mr. Barclay is also a member of the Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.

Barclay Law, LLC is located at 2100 Morris Avenue, N. Birmingham, AL 35203. Call 866-584-1023 or 205-488-2797 for a free consultation. Visit

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