Sunday, February 04, 2007

Scam the Public out of Billions, Get Probation

An ordinary citizen stealing a candy bar from a candy store can face prison.

I was sentenced to a year in prison, 3 years probation, for "overreacting" to being the victim of a strong armed robbery, an attempted mugging on my property in my dark driveway, for having used pepper spray. Check out The Get Justice Coalition blog

Who is more alarming, and should sentences reflect their damages to society, not a popularity contest, how rich you are, or if authorities are retaliating against whistleblowers or those that want corrupt officials removed?

BUSINESS, The Hartford Courant

Cendant Case: 2 Spared Jail Time
January 30, 2007
Associated Press BRIDGEPORT [Connecticut]

-- Two former executives were spared prison time Monday for their roles in a massive accounting scandal at Cendant Corp. that cost the company and its investors more than $3 billion.

Anne Pember, 47, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy in 2000, was sentenced to two years of probation and 200 hours of community service.

Pember asked to be spared prison time, citing her extensive cooperation with federal investigators. Prosecutors agreed.

"I think your cooperation and your testimony was quite extraordinary," Senior U.S. District Judge Alan H. Nevas said.

Pember, who faced five years in prison under sentencing guidelines, apologized for her conduct.

Pember was controller at CUC International of Stamford, which merged with HFS Inc. of Parsippany, N.J., to create Cendant in December 1997. Pember became Cendant's senior vice president for accounting.

Casper Sabatino, 54, a former accountant at CUC who pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges and cooperated with federal prosecutors, was sentenced Monday afternoon to two years of probation.

Nevas noted that Sabatino was one of the whistleblowers and was the first person to voluntarily cooperate with prosecutors.

"I think that's an important factor strongly in your favor," Nevas said. "You were the person who was the catalyst for initiating the investigation of this fraud."

Nevas also noted that others cooperated as a result of Sabatino's cooperation.

"Literally the house of cards began to collapse," Nevas said. "Your conduct should be emulated."

Sabatino also apologized in court for his actions.

The defendants have said their crimes were committed at the behest of their superiors.

Prosecutors say the scheme inflated the stock of CUC International, Cendant's predecessor, by $500 million.


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