Cochran’s Attorney and Raleigh Co. Prosecutor Address Investigation Leaks

BECKLEY, W.Va (WOAY) – While Natalie Cochran faces a lawsuit and a bankruptcy filing for an alleged Ponzi scheme, reports have come out that the Raleigh County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and the West Virginia State Police are investigating the death of her husband, Michael Cochran. Michael Cochran died in February of this year and according to Natalie’s bankruptcy attorney, to their knowledge, his death certificate still says natural causes.

“What Ms. Cochran has told media, what she’s told anyone who’s asked, was that her husband had vomited in the sink, wasn’t feeling well and hit his head during a seizure,” Cochran’s attorney Robert Dunlap said. “I think it’s important to notice that the first thing she did was call law enforcement. She called a first responder, sort of a package deal. Two people came at once and he didn’t die right away. It’s important to know that she made sure he received medical treatment. He went to Raleigh General, he went to see CAMC, and he died in hospice five days later. I mean, the rumors that are anything other than that are just hurtful and meant to create the kind of distress that they’re creating.”

And Dunlap says the distress is also affecting Cochran’s children. 

“It’s been horrific when they should be mourning their father, when they should be getting over the death of a loved one. Instead, they’re fighting Facebook wars,” Dunlap said.

We also gave Raleigh County Prosecuting Attorney Kristen Keller a chance to address the leaks that came from her office about the alleged investigation.

“I already issued a harsh memorandum to my entire office. It was a reminder because everyone, when they take the job here, is reminded of what the rules are,” Keller said. “And it was said in huge letters: Be Quiet. But as to private parties, I have no control over what private parties, and I’m not criticizing them because they operate under a different set of rules than prosecuting attorneys.”

Keller also said that under the rules of professional ethics for prosecuting attorneys, she cannot nor can anyone in her office confirm an ongoing investigation.

“Even if hypothetically that it’s under investigation, no one should conclude from that that there is any evidence of wrongdoing or any guilt by any party,” Keller said.

Natalie Cochran made headlines earlier in the summer when a civil federal lawsuit came down dealing with her and her husband’s multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme. Their companies were called Technology Management Solutions and Tactical Solutions Group. According to court documents, they “fraudulently solicited investments from individuals to invest in TMS and TSG’s government contracts.”

Federal investigators seized her properties and froze her accounts which also caused her to no longer provide scholarships in her husband’s memory.

“When you freeze people’s assets, you’re not leaving scholarship kids in the lurch,” Dunlap said. “You’re not doing something on purpose. You can’t access those funds. And I know other third-party attorneys have been reaching out to the federal government to get some of those funds freed up to pay for things but again, that’s all part of the confiscation action and that has to run its own course.”

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Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.