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January 29, 2008

Another long sentence for a chief involved in corporate fraud

As detailed in reports from Bloomberg News and Reuters, another corporate fraud led to another very long prison sentence in federal court today.  Here are some notable highlights from the Bloomberg report:

Daniel Marino, the former finance chief of the bankrupt hedge-fund firm Bayou Group LLC, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for defrauding investors of as much as $400 million.  The judge cited the size and length of the eight-year fraud, and Marino's role as its "linchpin'' in setting the sentence.  Marino, 48, who had sought leniency due to his cooperation with prosecutors, was ordered imprisoned immediately.  He was handcuffed by marshals in the well of the courtroom and led away.

"You are as much a career criminal as any mobster or any drug kingpin,'' U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon said today in Manhattan federal court, adding he may have gotten a 50-year term. "There is simply no alternative but to punish you for your life of crime.''...

Marino apologized today, saying he was "truly sorry.''  Individuals who cooperate typically receive greatly reduced sentences. The judge said she didn't give Marino credit for cooperating because his help wasn't central to solving the case.  She said the amount of the fraud "boggles the mind.''... McMahon concluded "there is no way that the Bayou fraud could have been perpetrated, nor could it have grown to its immense proportions, but for you.''...

Marino's lawyer, Andrew Bowman, said he will appeal the sentence....  Bowman asked for leniency, citing his client's recurring bouts of cancer, hearing loss, depression and attempted suicide.  The lawyer claimed Marino has been sickly since age 5, when complications from the mumps left him with severe hearing loss.... In refusing his bid for leniency, she told Marino that his "personal difficulties'' don't warrant a shorter sentence.  "You are a sad individual -- you were good at doing the worst,'' she told him. "And for this, you have to pay.''

It is interesting to speculate whether all the recent consternation over the economy might have, directly or indirectly, impacted the outcome in this case.  Though I doubt Judge McMahon ever planned to go easy on Marino, the bad national economic news over the last few weeks surely could not have helped Marino's efforts to get a little leniency from this judge at sentencing.

January 29, 2008 at 05:18 PM | Permalink

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