Judge Rakoff

Read the Full-Text Opinion

DEFENDANT FORMER company president discovered-at its later stages-and attempted to cover up a fraud concocted by accounting executives and employees who were under pressure from the company’s chief executive officer to maintain its financial results and high stock price. At sentencing after conviction for conspiracy and securities fraud, the government sought 85 years in prison, claiming that his offense level was 55. Departing from the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines the court, focusing its attention on the factors set forth in 18 USC �3553(a)-and rejecting comparisons to recent cases-sentenced defendant to 42 months in prison and ordered $50 million in restitution. It observed that where calculations under the guidelines are “patently absurd on their face,” a court must place greater reliance on the general considerations set forth in �3553(a), as applied to the circumstances of the case and the person who will bear the consequences.