Everything is Just Fine

Ex-mortgage CEO sentenced to prison for $3B fraud

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The CEO of what had been one of the nation’s largest privately held mortgage lenders was sentenced Tuesday to more than three years in prison for his role in a $3 billion scheme that officials called one of the biggest corporate frauds in U.S. history.

The 40-month sentence for Paul R. Allen, 55, of Oakton, Va., is slightly less than the six-year term sought by federal prosecutors.


Homeless man gets 15 years for stealing $100

A homeless man robbed a Louisiana bank and took a $100 bill. After feeling remorseful, he surrendered to police the next day. The judge sentenced him to 15 years in prison.

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  • Andy

    You brought this up earlier and it engendered some interesting responses – I wonder if the same responses will reappear – I contended and still do that this shows the how this country has everything up for sale – justice, elected positions (thank you SUpreme Court), life, death. In another post you said the OWS are ninnies – I do disagree – however, they like the Tea Party represent a growing discontent with the corporate Lords and how they control politics, health care, … If the passion seen in Catholic Blogs might be harnessed to address this issue, the oligarchy, we might see an end to abortion, and a recognition of the importance of all Catholic Social Teaching.
    Instead, my prognostication is that this story will engender the usual Loony Leftist vs the Self-rightoeous Right.
    Just my thoughts, as confused as they are. .

  • Richard C.

    Distinction: violence is bad. It scares people. When there is violence, people stay home and society stops functioning. As bad as fraud is, it doesn’t scare people in the way violence does.

    OTOH, yeah. Why is Guy A not sitting next to Madoff?

  • Tim

    The homeless man threatened the life of the bank teller, or at least gave the impression that he had a gun and was willing to use it, thereby creating the fear of imminent harm or death (in law, that’s the same as using force).

    I don’t think you can compare these cases by measuring the number of dollars taken. Something more valuable was at stake in the case of the homeless man. Lying to someone is not the same as threatening someone’s life, no matter how much money is gained from either.

    I’m not an expert in Consequentialism, but this seems like that: determining the sentence solely by the consequences of the act… though I’m not really sure, from this post, what you are advocating.

    I’m sure there is a lot to be angry about in Mr. Allen’s sentence, but juxtaposing his case with the homeless man from Louisiana isn’t helpful in determining what that is. Rather, it just fuels some sort of populist rage.

    • S. Murphy

      This is fair enough, as far as it goes. When the homeless guy turned himself in, his remorse should have been taken into account in sentencing.

    • Michael

      Is it easier to keep your head in the sand Tim?

      • Tim

        I’m not entirely sure what that means.

  • Tom N.

    A few things. The bank robbery is supposed to be from 2007, but all the stories on it are from 2009. The story is really about a brain dead sentence handed down by a judge but the judge isn’t named in any of the stories? Was he constrained by sentencing guidelines? Who knows, there’s nothing in the story about the real subject. Isn’t that a bit lacking in journalistic quality by pretty much everyone who reported the story?

    On the other hand if it is true, I found a few places where it was claimed that the homeless guy had at least 8 prior arrests. These are everything from battery/assault, DWI, criminal neglect of his family, fugitive status, parole violations and pot possession. In that light, the 15 years isn’t quite so outrageous. That is, if it’s true. I don’t know because I can’t find anything “admissible” about this.

    I checked the snopes.com type sites and no one has anything on it, one way or another. This smells a bit. Did it really happen? Maybe.

    So to write this column, Shea brings up a story from June and a poorly documented story from 2007. This isn’t his best work.

    That said…

    Haven’t we pretty much always given harsher sentences to men convicted of crimes committed using violence (or a threat thereof) than to men convicted of non-violent crimes? If a security guard got killed (I know the robber wasn’t armed, but during a robbery, weird stuff happens) would it then be okay? What about “strike 3” in a “3 strikes you’re out” state?

    Back in the days of the old West, a man could be hung for stealing a horse. The justification was that if you took a man’s horse, you might effectively kill the man. What the CEO did is a bit similar nowadays and it wouldn’t hurt my sensibilities a bit if the CEO should be hung from the neck until dead.

    A guy I used to work for went to prison for 3 years for dealing coke. Came back in the best shape of his life. Said he played tennis every day.

    Both the coke dealer and the CEO should get a rope or life with no parole. But that’s not the system we have in place. Maybe it’s coming. But like everything else, overcoming the system in place will be problematic.

    • S. Murphy

      Why not just do the ancient Icelandic thing (high tech update): sentence CEOs to Outlawry — and then sic a drone on them when they flee the country?

      [NB: JOKE]

  • Whoever the judge is who sentenced the homeless man to 15 years may find that God will sentence him to much longer than 15 years for lack of mercy.

  • I feel compelled to add, populist rage though it may be, Woody Guthrie once said, “Some people rob you with a gun, others with a fountain pen.” Everything said about the homeless guy may be true, but 15 years is still a long sentence for a bank robbery. And he turned himself in out of remorse. As to the alleged non-violence of a CEO who steals 3 billion from a mortgage company, I believe that many of those whose homes were foreclosed had the money that could have saved their homes stolen by crooks like him, and didn’t many of those foreclosed get evicted by armed police officers? If you steal 3 billion you just get someone else to carry the gun for you. Okay, I know my populist rage is perhaps sinful, but I believe God will forgive it before lack of mercy.

  • Sam Schmitt

    If it’s any comfort, the supposed “mastermind” of the $3B fraud, company chairman Lee Farkas, was sentenced to 30 years.

  • Hezekiah Garrett

    As much metamucil as I hear gets passed around at their rallies it’s probably orthopedic problems that keep squad cars safe from Ma & Pa Teaparty.

    • Confederate Papist

      Um…crack pipes, etc. are being passed out at the OWS….I think you wandered into this blog from one of these “occupy” sites….

  • Hezekiah Garrett

    Of course if i think TPs abunch of geriatric hypocrites i must be a communiss from Sodom on the Hudson.

    Naw, in fact you and me share a state.