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To: mmmary who wrote (8663)7/13/2005 9:07:18 PM
From: dacoola
   of 12226
 
She didn't go to jail for insider trading, she went to jail for lying about it. Nevertheless, I agree that there should be bigger fish to fry.

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To: mmmary who wrote (8663)7/13/2005 10:20:42 PM
From: Digrdug
   of 12226
 
"instead of Martha Stewart"

I can't understand the American system.

They finally find a woman who is proud to cook, clean and work in the yard and they throw her butt in the slammer.

Is that weird or what??

LOL

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To: Jeffrey S. Mitchell who wrote (8662)7/14/2005 4:26:44 AM
From: Dale Baker
   of 12226
 
Big, big difference between "being in illicit possession of public information about scam companies" and actively conspiring with active duty FBI agents to gain access to classified databases for the purpose of furthering and ongoing criminal enterprise.

Elgindy's case was never really about the scam companies - it was about screwing with the Feds, the same thing that sent Martha to the slammer. That's what he will be sentenced for, and rightly so.

If the DOJ doesn't make an example of the people who lie to or cheat and steal from (or with the help of) federal employees, they are declaring open season for anyone who wants to flout the rules to live it up.

I don't think we want to go down that road. Elgindy could have avoided it by steering clear of anything related to the FBI, and Martha could have just 'fessed up and paid a fine with a suspended sentence.

Stupid is as stupid does. Ditto for convicts. It's called accountability for one's criminal actions.

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From: Dale Baker7/14/2005 5:37:14 AM
   of 12226
 
What Does 25 Years Do?
Stiff Sentences' Effect as Corporate Fraud Deterrents Debated

By Brooke A. Masters
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 14, 2005; Page D01

NEW YORK, July 13 -- In the early 1990s, Wall Street titan Michael Milken was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in the financial scandal of the day, served less than two years and emerged with most of his fortune. On Wednesday, former WorldCom Inc. chief executive Bernard J. Ebbers was sentenced to 25 years after already surrendering most of his millions.

At least two things worked against the former telecommunications chief, legal analysts said. Judges and prosecutors these days think huge sentences are necessary to deter corporate crime, and society's thirst for vengeance has increased as well.

Stiff sentences like Ebbers's and the 15-year term handed down recently to Adelphia Communications Corp. founder John J. Rigas, 80, are having a positive effect on corporate behavior, said former prosecutor Seth C. Farber. "I think corporate executives are very aware of the recent spate of prosecutions and enforcement actions. People do feel the risk of personal exposure. It's causing people to be more cautious in how they act," he said.

But some lawyers were asking whether the pendulum has swung too far. "This sentence is too harsh. I don't get the societal purpose that is served by the notion that he's going to die in prison," said defense attorney Charles A. Stillman, who represented another corporate executive recently brought low, former Tyco International Ltd. finance chief Mark H. Swartz. "In Europe they don't have sentences like this. Is everybody stealing over there?"

Ebbers came up for sentencing at an especially unfavorable time for his central role in a scheme to hide WorldCom's expenses and inflate revenue. In the early 1990s, the financial world was shocked that powerful people such as Milken and inside-trader Ivan F. Boesky were going to jail at all. Milken's 10-year sentence was considered harsh at the time, but he was eligible for parole after three years and a judge reduced his sentence to 22 months because he cooperated with the government.

After a new wave of corporate scandals broke in 2002, small investors revolted and many argued that more had to be done to stop financial crime. The federal guidelines for white-collar crime have grown steadily stiffer, with more emphasis placed on the losses investors incurred. And parole has been abolished in the federal system, so Ebbers has little hope of cutting down his sentence on the back end. (Federal prisoners generally serve at least 85 percent of their terms.)

U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones actually cut Ebbers, a Canada-born former milkman, a slight break when she handed down a 25-year sentence -- the guidelines recommended 30 years to life for a financial crime of this magnitude. "Bernie Ebbers was transformed into a symbol, a distorted picture of corporate corruption" that did not reflect his "life of unbelievable kindness," his lawyer Reid H. Weingarten said after the sentencing. He vowed to appeal.

Defense attorney Kirby H. Behre said Ebbers's sentence can be seen as an overcompensation for the earlier era. "Some believed those sentences [in the late 1980s and early 1990s] had very little deterrent effect. Now the pendulum has swung, but it's swung too far the other way," he said. "To blame the entire chain of events" -- including WorldCom's June 2002 decision to seek bankruptcy protection -- "on Ebbers, without taking into account the contribution of others and the impact of an irrational Wall Street, I don't think that's absolutely fair."

Veteran defense attorney Robert G. Morvillo said it is unlikely the Ebbers sentence will deter others. "If the sentence was five years, the deterrent impact would have been precisely the same," he said. "Nobody goes so far down the line that they say, 'Oh, my God, I might get 20 years rather than 15.' "

Far more effective, Morvillo said, are the financial penalties extracted from Ebbers before sentencing. Late last month, Ebbers agreed to give up or sell 95 percent of everything he owned to raise about $45 million to settle the claims of investors who lost money when WorldCom collapsed into bankruptcy protection. "If greed is a motivating factor, taking away the benefits of the commission of the crime and leaving people and their families in a state of economic insecurity . . . has more of a deterrent effect," he said.

But other legal analysts said harsh prison sentences are vital because they not only deter bad behavior, they make it easier to persuade lower-level executives involved in fraud to cooperate with prosecutors. "It's critical for the government that the sentences of those people who do go to trial be made exemplars" with long prison terms, said Fordham University law professor Daniel C. Richman, a former federal prosecutor. That way "defendants who are guilty accept responsibility and plead guilty and potential defendants come forward and give the government information and get a much lighter sentence."

That tough message is particularly necessary right now, some analysts said, because of the acquittal last month of HealthSouth Corp. founder Richard M. Scrushy. At the outset, the government's case against Scrushy appeared much stronger that its evidence against Ebbers -- all five former HealthSouth finance chiefs had implicated Scrushy in the $2.7 billion accounting scam, while the case against Ebbers rested squarely on the shoulders of former finance chief Scott D. Sullivan, the only witness to testify that Ebbers had personally directed him to commit an $11 billion fraud.

"This will help soften the deleterious effect of the Scrushy verdict," said University of Texas law professor Henry T.C. Hu. "You don't want the decision about whether or not to commit fraud to become a cost-benefit calculation." If Ebbers had gotten a short sentence on top of Scrushy's acquittal, Hu said, some corporate officers might think, "Hey -- a lifetime of wealth, it might be worth it."

University of Missouri law professor Frank O. Bowman said the Ebbers case may be an exception to the general criticism that white-collar sentences are getting out of control. "There's a question about whether the guidelines are several orders of magnitude harsher than is necessary," Bowman said. But "when you are talking about frauds and losses in the billions of dollars range and you're not talking about technical wrongdoing but real, classic fraud, does it bother me that we're going to send him away for life? No."

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To: Dale Baker who wrote (8666)7/14/2005 9:26:57 AM
From: Jeffrey S. Mitchell
   of 12226
 
Elgindy's case was never really about the scam companies - it was about screwing with the Feds, the same thing that sent Martha to the slammer. That's what he will be sentenced for, and rightly so.

Half right. There is no doubt that "screwing with the Feds" was a major reason for both convictions. However, in Elgindy's case, a major factor in his sentencing will be gains his "enterprise" allegedly made as a whole (site members, not just Elgindy)-- quite a paradox if you want to argue Elgindy was always about no one but himself.

- Jeff

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To: Jeffrey S. Mitchell who wrote (8668)7/14/2005 9:31:18 AM
From: Dale Baker
   of 12226
 
Elgindy wasn't just about himself - he was eager to manipulate and screw over anyone he could in the process of self-promotion.

;<)

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To: Dale Baker who wrote (8669)7/14/2005 10:48:01 AM
From: Jeffrey S. Mitchell
   of 12226
 
Elgindy wasn't just about himself - he was eager to manipulate and screw over anyone he could in the process of self-promotion.

Ergo Elgindy should be sentenced based on all the money he fleeced his subscribers out of... somewhat similar to Ebbers et al being sentenced based on all the money they fleeced from their constituents, right? Except that Elgindy is being sentenced based on money his subscribers as a group *made*, not lost! That's the paradox.

- Jeff

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To: Jeffrey S. Mitchell who wrote (8670)7/14/2005 10:55:37 AM
From: Dale Baker
   of 12226
 
A drug lord is sentenced based on the money made (i.e. volume of drugs sold) for his enterprise and employees through illegal means. Elgindy's case is no different except that he added tampering with Federal agents to the list of charges.

Nasty combination when it comes time for a federal judge to use strict sentencing guidelines. Unless Tony sang well enough to get less time. Why else would the sentencing be delayed so long?

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To: Dale Baker who wrote (8671)7/14/2005 11:32:07 AM
From: SI Dave
   of 12226
 
It does seem unusual that sentencing has not occurred after all of this time. On the flip side, it seems inevitable that he'll receive a sentence that's longer than time already served, so he's effectively serving whatever sentence comes down the pike.

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From: the_worm067/14/2005 8:33:29 PM
   of 12226
 
This board is a little boring..........time to add some excitement


regards,

the_worm06

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