- Associated Press - Friday, October 30, 2015

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A former attorney who won a $200 million settlement for diet drug clients is facing arrest for failing to appear at a Kentucky court hearing.

A warrant signed by Boone County Circuit Judge James Schrand signed on Thursday says Stan Chesley is charged with contempt of court. Chesley, a former high-profile class-action attorney, failed to appear for a hearing over his refusal to pay back funds he improperly took in the 2001 fen-phen settlement.

An attorney for Chesley did not return a message seeking comment Friday. Schrand set Chesley’s bond at nearly $650,000.

Chesley took more than $20 million in attorney’s fees from the settlement, which exceeded the amount established by his client contracts and his contracts with co-counsel. He and three other attorneys in the case were ordered to pay $42 million back to hundreds of clients.

Chesley, once dubbed the “Master of Disaster” for his prowess in winning large class-action cases, was disbarred by the Kentucky Supreme Court in 2013.

The other attorneys, William Gallion, Shirley Cunningham Jr. and Melbourne Mills, have each been disbarred from practicing law. Gallion and Cunningham are serving federal prison sentences after being convicted of bilking their clients out of millions from the settlement. Mills was acquitted.

The diet drug fen-phen was pulled from the market in 1997.

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