Category: Federal Sentencing

August 2, 2010

A Longer Sentence for Post-Conviction Comments to the Press?

Lynne Stewart, an attorney who was convicted in 2005 of providing material support to a terrorist group by passing messages to and from her imprisoned client, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, to his followers, was re-sentenced last month by U.S. District Judge John Koeltl in the Southern District of New York to 10 years in prison,… Read More

July 19, 2010

National Law Journal Article: Circuits Split Over Securities Fraud Sentencing

The below article is reprinted with permission from the July 19, 2010, issue of the National Law Journal. Copyright 2010 ALM Media Properties, LLC. Further duplication without permission is prohibited. All rights reserved. By A. Jeff Ifrah and Rachel Hirsch July 19, 2010 This summer, Richard Berger will be resentenced by a court that now… Read More

July 6, 2010

Kagan Stresses Deference to Congress on Federal Sentencing

In her three-day Supreme Court confirmation hearing, nominee Elena Kagan expressed very few views on substantive issues that might give observers a clue as to how she would vote as a Justice. Criminal law and sentencing issues were no exception, as the nominee did not tip her hand much on these matters. One interesting tidbit… Read More

June 21, 2010

Rubashkin Gets 27-Year Federal Sentence for Fraud

Today, U.S. District  Judge Linda Reade in Iowa sentenced former kosher meatpacking executive Sholom Rubashkin to 27 years in a federal prison for his conviction on 86 counts of federal financial fraud charges. The prison term will be followed by five years of parole. Mr. Rubashkin will also be required to make restitution of nearly $27… Read More

June 18, 2010

In Dillon, Court Limits Application of Key Sentencing Ruling

On June 17, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an 8-1 ruling in Dillon v. United States (with only Justice Stevens dissenting) that the Court’s 2005 ruling in United States v. Booker that made the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines advisory rather than mandatory does not apply to proceedings to reduce a sentence under section 3582(c)(2) of… Read More

June 9, 2010

Will Holder Memo Reduce DOJ-Acknowledged Sentencing Disparities?

Time will tell whether Attorney General Eric Holder’s recent policy memo to federal prosecutors will actually reduce white-collar sentencing disparities that Justice Department officials have admitted are widespread and significant. “We are especially concerned about increased disparity in white-collar sentencing,” Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer of the Criminal Division told American Bar Association conference attendees… Read More

June 2, 2010

Federal Prosecutors, Judges Depart Slightly From Sentencing Guidelines

New data just out from the U.S. Sentencing Commission seems to show a small but steady trend in federal criminal sentences away from the automatic imposition of the sentence recommended by the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. The Commission provides preliminary data on a quarterly basis. In the second quarter of fiscal year 2010 (which ended March… Read More

June 2, 2010

Judges Have Sufficient Options Available to Punish White Collar Defendants

On May 4, 2010, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said the following in a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on financial crime: Despite the enormous losses in many securities fraud cases, a preliminary analysis by the United States Sentencing Commission suggests that securities fraud offenders may often receive shorter sentences than other white collar offenders who cause… Read More

May 27, 2010

Should a Victim’s Public Figure Status Count in Sentencing?

On April 30, 2010, David Kernell, son of a Democratic Tennessee lawmaker, was found guilty by a federal jury of obstruction of justice and unauthorized access to a computer for hacking into then-Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s Yahoo! e-mail account. Kernell was acquitted on a charge of wire fraud, and the jury deadlocked on a… Read More

May 26, 2010

Is Virginia Real?

U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride of the Eastern District of Virginia has been in the news of late. Last week, he announced plans to pursue prosecutions of high-profile securities-fraud cases in his district. For years, securities-fraud cases have been, with rare exception, primarily handled by the Southern District of New York. MacBride takes comfort in a… Read More

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