Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Former Balch & Bingham attorney Chase T. Espy pleads guilty to a charge in child-solicitation probe that produced almost 70 videos of child sexual abuse

Chase T. Espy

A former attorney at Birmingham's Balch & Bingham law firm has pleaded guilty to charges related to a child-solicitation investigation. Chase T. Espy will not be sentenced until January, but it appears he is headed to federal prison. Possession of Child Pornography carries a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison. According to a press release, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will seek imprisonment of Espy consistent with the high end of the advisory United States Sentencing Guideline range as calculated by the Court at the time of sentencing.

The guilty plea was announced late yesterday afternoon. From a report at

According to the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama . . ., Chase T. Espy, 36, pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography. . . . 

The plea agreement filed states the investigation was initiated when Espy engaged in online chats with undercover law enforcement whom Espy believed was a 15-year-old girl. Upon being arrested, Espy’s cell phone was seized, and a search warrant was obtained. From this search, approximately 69 videos and four images of child sexual abuse material were found.

Recent years have not been kind to Balch & Bingham attorneys -- and it might get worse. Reports Ban Balch Publisher K.B. Forbes:

Espy will join ex-Balch partner Joel I. Gilbert in the federal prison system.

Gilbert was found guilty of six federal crimes including money laundering and bribery during the North Birmingham Bribery Trial.

Now insiders are telling us more Balch partners could possibly join the federal prison system.

Balch attorneys and stooges are allegedly being investigated and could be held accountable by the U.S. Attorney in the alleged Elderly Exploitation Scandal of 2020 that targeted Joann Bashinsky (Mrs. B), the grandmother who was worth $218 million and allegedly lied to by a Balch partner and allegedly abused by a probate judge who resigned abruptly in May of 2020.

Even a former Balch partner might not be out of the woods, Forbes writes:

The alleged federal investigation of ex-Balch partner and current CEO of Alabama Power Mark A. Crosswhite has been amplified by the foolish conduct of Matrix founder Sloppy Joe Perkins who outlined an alleged criminal enterprise involving the money laundering of over $50 million through 18 tax-exempt entities. Perkins is paid millions every year by the utility.

Other developments related to the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal continue to percolate:

Meanwhile, in a hidden, secretive Star Chamber, ex-Drummond executive David Roberson’s $75 million civil lawsuit is gaining strong interest of law enforcement officials since nothing is publicly available and potential criminal misconduct may have been intentionally obscured with these protective orders filed in early 2020.

The quiet before the storm. And the RICO lawsuits are still waiting quietly in the wings.