Sunday, December 16, 2007

Looking at the Numbers?

Professor Doug Berman on his Sentencing Law & Policy Blog here writes about David Voreacos and Bob Van Voris' Bloomberg News article titled, "Bush Fraud Probes Jail Corporate Criminals Less Than Two Years."  But I guess I want to see more. I am not as convinced that the white collar offenders are getting off so easy. For example, do the statistics include all the money laundering cases that started as typical white collar cases of fraud, but had money laundering tacked onto them?  Does it include cases with a RICO charge, since after all RICO has wire fraud, bank fraud, and mail fraud as its predicates? And admittedly there is no way of actually knowing what percentage of these cases were reduced because of pleas, tokens for acceptance of responsibility, and cooperation agreements with the government. 

The latter portion of this article points out the "trial penalties" (see Houston ClearThinkers here) and the lack of available information on some matters.  And clearly there is a disparity between the sentences given to those who go to trial and those who plea.  But is it to the extent of the Andy Fastow/Jeff Skilling disparity?  And most important I want to know if they included the Chalana McFarland's of the world, who were given 30 years for mortgage fraud. Or is this not within the confines of corporate fraud? 

And if the numbers show this "less than two years" why did Conrad Black get such a greater sentence?

So, I liked the article, but I think we all need to know exactly what is included in white collar or corporate criminality. (see here)


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Just over five years ago with the stench of Enron around him, President Bush declared that corporate criminals would no longer have it easy. Every corporate official who has chosen to commit a crime can expect to face the... [Read More]

Tracked on Dec 18, 2007 7:44:21 PM


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