Saturday, January 10, 2015

U.S. Sentencing Commission Seeks Comment on Revisions to Fraud Guideline

2B1.1, the fraud sentencing guideline, has been controversial.  The controversay has centered on several points including its complexity, its focus on fraud loss, its failure to sufficiently focus on offender culpability, and the problems that accrue in determining fraud loss. The U.S. Sentencing Commission recognized some of these problems and held a conference at John Jay College to consider the issues and possible solutions.

The Commission now seeks comment on a proposed amendment to revise this guideline "by clarifying the definition of 'intended loss,' which contributes to the degree of punishment, and the enhancement for the use of sophisticated means in a fraud offense."  The Commission also states that "[t]he proposed amendment also revises the guideline to better consider the degree of harm to victims, rather than just the number of victims, and includes a modified, simpler approach to 'fraud on the market' offenses which involve manipulation of the value of stocks." (see here)  The Commission stated that they "have not seen a basis for finding the guideline to be broken for most forms of fraud, like identity theft, mortgage fraud, or healthcare fraud."  You can find the proposal here (last 17 pages).


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I have read your economic crime proposal and am thankful that you are looking into the guidelines that determine the length of the sentence. I feel that the current guidelines are very harsh considering most of the time a non violent crimes gets a harsher sentence than a violent crime. The commission needs to consider lightening the sentence for white collar crimes. Instead of incarceration there needs to be probation which will help with the overcrowding in prisons and ease the financial burden the system has placed on our government. Please consider overhauling the 2b1.1 guidelines and ease our over crowded prisons.

Posted by: Cynthia | Jan 10, 2015 7:33:46 PM

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