Friday, September 22, 2006
This is a decision that reflects the difficulty faced by courts in trying to decide what is the "loss" figure. Courts are forced to use mathematics to determine what is the appropriate punishment for an individual. This court appropriately went beyond the arithmetic to look at the individual and noted that Jamie Olis had no criminal record. The court should be applauded for this.
Some highlights from the decision -
"The court's conclusion that it is not possible to estimate with reasonable certainty the actual loss to shareholders attributable to corrective disclosures about Project Alpha is based on the facts of this case; it is not a conclusion that such estimates are never possible."
"the court concludes the actual loss to shareholders caused by the corrective disclosures made about Project Alpha on April 25 and May 8, 2002, cannot be reasonably calculated based on the evidence now before the court.Since, however, the controverted trial testimony of Gene Foster establishes that Olis expected the fraudulent accounting treatment accorded to Project Alpha to reduce the taxes that Dynegy would otherwise have owed to the United States Treasury by $79 million, the court concludes that the defendant’s guideline sentencing range should be calculated on the basis of an intended loss to the United States Treasury of $79 million. Accordingly, the court concludes that the defendant’s total offense level would be 34 yielding guideline sentencing range of 151 to 188 months . . "
"Although Olis was intimately involved in the conspiracy and in planning Project Alpha, he did not have the ultimate authority at Dynegy to approve Project Alpha, nor was he responsible for drafting the documents by which the conspiracy was carried out and concealed. Moreover, unlike some other recently publicized corporate fraud cases, the purpose of this conspiracy was not to defraud Dynegy or to enrich Olis."
A copy of the sentencing decision of the Hon. Sim Lake is here - Download olis_resentence_decision.pdf