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Tag: white collar

Ex-Detroit U.S. Attorney on Manfort’s Sentence: ‘It Reflects The Class and Racial Disparities That Exist In The Criminal-Justice System’

U.S. Attorney McQuade

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — Outrage is voiced about a 47-month prison sentence for former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, whose federeal penalty for bank and insurance frauds falls far short of the 19-24 years suggested in sentencing guidelines. U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III on Thursday called the guidelines “vindictive” and “way out of whack.”

But ex-Detroit U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, who now teaches law at the University of Michigan, sees something far more troubling than the judge did. She thinks class and racism are at play, and that Manafort may have benefited from being a privileged white guy.

She writes in The Daily Beast:

In the case of Manafort, I believe that the drastic variance from the guidelines range has little to do with Manafort’s connections to Trump, though Judge Ellis openly expressed hostility to the special counsel and its prosecution of Manafort throughout the case. Instead, I think it reflects the class and racial disparities that exist in the criminal-justice system.

As a former federal prosecutor, I have often seen white-collar defendants receive sentences below the calculated guidelines range. This practice sends a terrible message that wealthy and powerful defendants are treated differently than other defendants. I didn’t see many drastic drops from the guidelines in sentences for indigent defendants.

During his sentencing hearing, the closest Manafort came to contrition was saying that he felt shame and suggesting he had already been punished. This is a common trope from white-collar crime defendants, who suggest that they don’t need to go to prison because their loss of income and status in the community is punishment enough. They submit letters of support that their expensive lawyers have billed many hours gathering from prominent people to praise their good works.

Indigent defendants, on the other hand, don’t receive leniency because they have suffered harm to their status in their community. Their overworked court-appointed lawyers don’t have the resources to collect letters, nor do the defendants know the kinds of prominent people who might persuade a judge to impose a lower sentence. We fill our prisons for lengthy periods of incarceration with disadvantaged people with few economic opportunities, but defendants whose crimes are motivated by nothing more than greed are the ones who get a break. The sentence imposed by Judge Ellis appears to reflect that tendency.

FBI Raids Office of Puerto Rico-Based Doral Bank Following Regulatory Struggles

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI raided the Puerto Rico headquarters of Doral Bank in search of evidence related to “several ongoing investigations” Tuesday following questions about the lender’s ability to meet regulatory mandates, Bloomberg reports.

The FBI confirmed it collected computers and documents from the San  Juan bank’s offices but declined to elaborate on the investigation.

Doral has been under pressure to maintain compliance with capital requirements and reportedly was looking for a buyer for some of its business, Bloomberg wrote.

Doral spokeswoman Miriam Warren said the bank is fully cooperating with the investigation.

“We look forward to sharing more on the focus of the investigation as we learn more,” she said in a statement.

Gangs Expanding and Some Activity Now Includes Mortgage Fraud and Human Trafficking


fbi art

 
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Gangs across the U.S. are continuing to expand, with some even moving into white collar crimes like mortgage fraud and counterfeiting, alien smuggling and human trafficking, according to the 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment released by the National Gang Intelligence Center (NGIC), the FBI said.

“Gangs continue to expand, evolve, and become more violent. The FBI, along with its federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners, strives to disrupt and prevent their criminal activities and seek justice for innocent victims of their crimes,” Assistant Director Kevin Perkins of the FBI Criminal Investigative Division said in a statement.

The gang report revealed that approximately 1.4 million gang members belonging to more than 33,000 gangs were criminally active in the U.S. as of April, 2011.

The report said gangs have been encouraging members, associates, and relatives to obtain law enforcement, judiciary, or legal employment  to gather information on rival gangs and law enforcement operations.

The report said gang infiltration of the military continues to pose a significant criminal threat.

Gang members who learn advanced weaponry and combat techniques in the military are at risk of employing these skills on the street when they return to their communities, the report said.

The report said that gang membership increased most significantly in the Northeast and Southeast regions, although the West and Great Lakes regions boast the highest number of gang members. Neighborhood-based gangs, hybrid gang members, and national-level gangs such as the Sureños are rapidly expanding in many jurisdictions. Many communities are also experiencing an increase in ethnic-based gangs such as African, Asian, Caribbean, and Eurasian gangs.