Friday, June 10, 2005
According to a Department of Justice Press release here President George W. Bush granted seven pardons this week. One of the cases is clearly an alleged street crime (drug related). Of the remaining six, four definitively fit the white collar category and the remaining two lean in that direction. And men seem to be the major recipients of the pardons.
Because there is no clear definition of what constitutes a white collar offense, and because crimes are not designated white collar or non-white collar, it is sometimes difficult to place them definitively in one group. For example, charges under the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) can be either white collar or street crime, often dependent upon the predicate act involved. In recent years, the government has been using the charge of mail fraud against activities that are economic related and non-violent, characteristics that tend to describe a white collar offense. The mail fraud described in # 3 below is clearly a white collar, but the conspiracy to commit mail fraud described in # 4 is less clear. So too, with the theft of government property described in #7 below.
So my conclusion is that four out of seven of the pardons granted are clearly white collar and six out of seven could very well be. What can also be said about these pardons is that they are relatively minor offenses being pardoned (exception perhaps the one drug offense and the conspiracy to commit mail fraud), and that just looking at the names - men seem to be the major recipients of the pardons.
My other question is - looking at the sentences each received and the dates of the sentence, what would each of these individuals have received if sentenced under the sentencing guidelines? The press release describes the offenses and sentences as follows:
1. Offense: Making a false claim; U.C.M.J., Article 132
Sentence: December 8, 1978; United States Air Force special court-martial convened at Royal Air Force Base Lakenheath, Suffolk, England; two months confinement at hard labor, forfeiture of $369 pay per month for two months, and reduction to pay grade E-3, as approved by the convening authority on January 30, 1979.
2. Offense: Income tax evasion; 26 U.S.C. § 7201
Sentence: August 30, 1983; Middle District of Pennsylvania; Two years probation with special conditions of 200 hours of community service; $10,000 fine.
3.Offenses: Mail fraud; 18 U.S.C. § 1341; Furnishing false information on a Housing and Urban Development loan application; 18 U.S.C. § 1010.
Sentences: May 18, 1979; District of South Carolina; Three years probation; $1,000 fine; October 21, 1980; District of South Carolina; 15 months imprisonment.
4.Offense: Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and mail fraud; 18 U.S.C. §§ 2, 371, and 1341.
Sentence: August 18, 1983, modified on January 16, 1984; District of New Hampshire; 27 months imprisonment, five years probation, and $20,827 restitution, as modified.
5. Offense:Income tax evasion; 26 U.S.C. § 7201.
Sentence:July 22, 1977; Eastern District of Michigan; Two years probation; $10,000 fine.
6. Offense:Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana; 21 U.S.C. § 846.
Sentence:January 10, 1975; Northern District of Texas; 18 months imprisonment; two years special parole.
7. Offense:Theft of government property; 18 U.S.C. § 641.
Sentence:May 25, 1989; District of South Carolina; Three years probation, with the special condition to perform two hours of community service per week.