Monday, December 18, 2006
United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida issued a press release that Samantha Johnson and Scott Warren Johnson, husband and wife, were sentenced following their guilty please to "a wide-ranging mortgage fraud scheme." The sentences were 60 months for Samantha Johnson and one year for Scott Johnson. The press release said that they received "in excess of 2.5 million in ill gotten gains."
Now compare this to the sentence received by Chalana McFarland, a first offender who was sentenced for mortgage fraud (see here) to 30 years imprisonment for her role in an extensive mortgage fraud scheme that skimmed $20 million from the sale of over 100 homes from 1999 to 2002.
Why such a disparity in sentence? Could it be that the first group of individuals plead guilty and the second person risked trial? When the stakes are so high, do you really have a constitutional right to a jury trial?