SENTENCING WITH OTHER WHITE COLLAR CRIMES

Mr. Sholam Weiss is serving an 835-year sentence for his role in a fraudulent scheme that caused no actual loss to National Heritage with regards to his involvement.  As stated in ABOUT (SHALOM WEISS), at the time of sentencing, the Receiver recovered $65 million dollars (See. PSR 74), and  much more has been recovered since that time, resulting in no actual loss but only a profit.  By contrast, Jeffrey Skilling was sentenced in June 2013 to 14 years for his role in a fraudulent scheme that caused Enron victims a loss in excess of seven billion dollars.  Mr. Weiss' sentence is nearly 60 times longer than Mr. Skilling's despite the fact that the $125 million dollar intended loss estimate is less than 2% of the actual loss in Enron.  Thus Mr. Weiss received a sentence that was 3600 times greater per dollar loss than Skilling.

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Other cases exemplifying similar disparity include:  Sanjay Kumar, who received a 12-year sentence involving losses of 2.2 billion; Bernard Ebbers, who received a 25-year sentence involving losses of 100 billion dollars; John Riggs and Timothy, who received 15 and 20-years respectively for stealing 100 million dollars, and causing the losses of over a billion dollars; and Walter Forbes, who received a 12 ½-year sentence for losses of approximately 14 billion dollars. 

           

Mr. Weiss was a small-time businessman-turned business consultant.  He does not have a college level education, was not an officer of National Heritage, and became associated with National Heritage only after the principals in the company had already embezzled $35 million and, together with bad investment decisions, put the company into financial crises.  Even without Mr. Weiss’ involvement, National Heritage would have collapsed. 

 

The PSR contains nothing to suggest that Mr. Weiss profited from the illegal activity charged against him, that he diverted funds for personal use, or that he has possession of any funds that were the proceeds of illegal activity.  However, his sentence is vastly greater than white-collar crimes committed by the persons cited above, who had substantial financial knowledge and who exercised control over companies.  The above cases demonstrate that Mr. Weiss received an unprecedented sentence – unprecedented in its harshness.

Congress has redefined the definition of  "Actual loss" and "Intended loss". Based on the new definition, Weiss would have $0 actual loss and or intended losses which he caused to National Heritage .

Proposed Amendments to the Sentencing Guidelines (January 2015)

Sentencing Guidelines 2B1.1 Actual loss & intended loss (2016-2018)

Sentencing Guidelines full Manual(2016-2018)

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