Monday, November 26, 2007
The 11th Circuit affirmed the conviction and sentence of Chalana McFarland with a 14 page unpublished opinion. This first offender had her 360 - month sentence (yes, 30 years) affirmed for crimes of "money laundering, bank fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit such acts as well as obstruction of justice and perjury." The court states that "McFarland and her co-conspirators defrauded mortgage lenders and insured depository financial institutions by inflating the fair market values of properties which were then used to secure fraudulent loans for straw buyers." The sentence in this case appears to a large extent to be a function of the numerous charges filed (170 counts) and the calculation of loss. In its decision, this appellate court states -- in response to a defense argument -- that the trial court "felt duty bound - not legally bound - to sentence within the Guidelines range."
The opinion is here.