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Federal Prison Consultant Predicts Many Indictments From Financial Crisis

29th September 2008
By Geoff Mousseau in Legal
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A Federal Prison Consultant who advises white collar defendants on how to prepare for their prison terms predicts that many people in the financial sector will be indicted.

Geoff Mousseau, owner of White Collar Sentencing Consultants, Inc. in Los Angeles, stated his opinion at a meeting last evening.

Given the magnitude of this crisis and the need for government intervention to stabilize the financial markets, it is no surprise that criminal investigations have commenced. It is also fair to assume, for these same reasons, that charges will be filed against many, many individuals from this industry.

Unlike the fallout from the stock option back-dating scandal two years ago, where experts incorrectly predicted a wave of criminal prosecutions, the targets of the current investigations are of a lower profile and have much less political clout.

The targets of the new investigations should be concerned about the threat of substantial prison sentences. Current federal sentencing law has evolved modestly during recent years as a result of Supreme Court cases. These Supreme Court cases permit federal trial judges to have more latitude when issuing criminal sentences. In practice, however, most judges issue sentences that are very close to the terms prescribed by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The sentences prescribed by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for white collar offenders depend heavily on the amount of money involved in the case. For example, if two defendants are both convicted of fraud, the person who obtained more money from his fraud will receive a longer sentence.

And the amount of money involved does not need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt for purposes of sentencing. The evidentiary standard is lower than what is normally required for proof in a criminal case.

The current financial crisis involves amounts of money that are unimaginably large. For this reason alone, the people charged with crimes arising out of this crisis will face the threat of prison terms measured in decades, rather than in years.

This threat has other ramifications as well. One of the factors used by the Bureau of Prisons when it assigns inmates to prison is the length of the sentence. Under the BOP rules, anyone who receives a sentence longer than 10 years will not qualify to go to a prison camp. They will be assigned to a prison will cell-blocks, bars, and razor wire fences.

What do you do then if you are a subject of investigation as a result of the financial crisis? Cooperate. Assemble a competent legal defense team consisting of attorneys, economists and sentencing consultants. Prepare for your negotiations with prosecutors like you were negotiating for your life, because you will be.

Mr. Mousseau and White Collar Sentencing Consultants, Inc. can be reached on the web at
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About the Author
Occupation: Federal Prison Consultant
Mr. Mousseau is an experienced attorney who has tried over 100 jury trials. He also recently spent 15 months in Federal Prison where he worked as the Lompoc Camp “clerk” until early 2008. His duties there included resolving the complaints and problems of over 600 prisoners, with staff contact at all levels of administration. He can answer your questions with compassion and commitment because he has been there.
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