Sunday, April 24, 2005

What is Work for a White Collar Offender on House Arrest?

CNN reports here that the US Probation Department plans to investigate whether Martha Stewart violated her "house arrest" by attending a Time Magazine dinner in which she was honored.  Several things are noted here:

1. What more can an individual do who is on probation/house arrest then seek approval of places they think they should attend as work related? According to the CNN article, Martha Stewart did that here.

2. Why is someone having the probation department investigate her attendance?  Don't they have better things to do with their time?  Or is someone unhappy that Martha Stewart is getting so much favorable press despite the conviction on the government charges?

3. This is a perfect example of how white collar individuals are different.  What is considered "work-related" to some may not be to others.  In the corporate setting, a person's name may be the trade name that serves as the goodwill for the company.  Does Martha Stewart need to be "seen" and "heard from" to let people know that the company is surviving fine despite the conviction setback? 

4. Would Martha Stewart just be better off staying at home until the house arrest period is over?  Because of the high-profile nature of this case, the fact that some people are unhappy that she continues to get favorable press, maybe she would be better off just staying clear until the time period runs.  It is obvious that people are scrutinizing every move she makes, so maybe this is a good time to lay low. 

(esp)

Addendum: Also see the comments of Doug Berman on his Sentencing Blog here

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/whitecollarcrime_blog/2005/04/what_is_work_fo.html

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