Thursday, April 2, 2009
The first sentence given to a former General Re executive was for two years (see here). The second individual, AIGs former VP of reinsurance, was given four years (see here). The third person was sentenced to one year and a day (see here). And now a fourth person may be added to the prison system, this time with a sentence of 18 months. Colleen McCarthy of Business Insurance Magazine provides a detailed accounting of the sentencing hearing of a former finance exec at General Re. (see here). Some comments:
- Considering that the judge had previously looked at a significant loss figure, the sentence could have been extreme. (see here) One also had to be concerned about the effect of recent happenings at AIG and the public reaction -- which fortunately did not, as it should not, have come into play here.
- The judge in each of these cases appears to be sentencing the individual and not limiting the decision to arithmetic - and this is important. What is particularly noteworthy here is that the court credited the fact that "Ms. Monrad was not motivated by personal gain."
- The government needs to stop arguing that a convicted defendant is refusing to take responsibility for his or her actions. If a person is appealing a case - claiming innocence, and arguing that the conviction should not stand - how can you ask that person to take responsibility? To accept the government's argument would be to place the individual in a "Catch-22" position of maintaining innocence but also saying they are sorry for committing the act. It would render moot innocence claims in appellate arguments. We have an appellate system for a reason, and it should be respected.
- Even though the defendant was fortunate that the sentence was lower than the guidelines, it is still a sentence to prison for someone who had no prior criminal record. This is yet another indication that the days of probation for those convicted of white collar crimes has passed.
- Every time someone is given a prison sentence it is important to recognize that the sentence not only affects them, but all the family and friends that will suffer the ramifications of that sentence.
Addendum - Jane Mills & David Voreacos,Gen Re's Monrad Gets 18 Months in AIG Investor Fraud