Tuesday, April 15, 2008
This time it is 20 years for a white collar offender. But unlike Bernie Ebbers who received 25 years, Jeffrey Skilling who was given 24 years, and the Rigas sentences of 20 and 15 years - the accused - Samuel Israel III - plead guilty.
In the past the exorbitant sentences have been given for the most part to individuals who risked trial. We have seen individuals who enter pleas receiving lower sentences, like six years (Fastow) in return for testimony.
But what happens when you have no one to testify against and when the amount of loss is high? The co-founder of the defunct hedge fund Bayou Group found out that the reduction for a plea brought it to a sentence of 20 years.
See also my article, The Challenge of White Collar Sentencing