If you need further illustration of what is fueling the #occupy movement, compare and contrast two local court cases.
The first is a white-collar swindler, Michael Peppel, who robbed 271 investors of huge sums of money, caused at least 1,300 people to lose their jobs, made his suppliers eat his debts, and then sat in his luxury home on house arrest for years while his lawyers were paid with stolen money- to keep him out of jail- only to be sentenced by a judge for life- to 7 days in prison:
U.S. District Judge Sandra Beckwith, who concluded in August that a prison sentence of eight to 10 years would be appropriate under advisory federal sentencing guidelines, said she was moved by 113 letters of support she received from friends and family of Peppel. He was allowed to remain free until the Federal Bureau of Prisons directs him to report to a prison.
Peppel pleaded guilty to charges that he participated in a conspiracy to intentionally report false revenues and earnings at MCSi, to cover up losses and prop up the company’s stock prices.
Beckwith noted that five children, an ailing mother and brother depend on Peppel for support. The judge acknowledged that the sentence she imposed was a “huge” departure from the sentencing guidelines but said she does not believe Peppel is likely to repeat his white-collar crimes and that he does not present a threat to the public. There was no evidence that he had looted the company, the judge noted.
Also note, the MCSi was the recipient of locally funded corporate welfare- in that the Montgomery County Port Authority built them a new HQ at 4751 Hempstead Station Drive in Kettering and got caught holding the bag until Mead decided to bail from Downtown in the former Mead Tower to fill the empty building paid for by your tax dollars.
Compare this to a local grocery clerk who stole food stamps and sold a few handguns:
A Dayton grocery store employee who was implicated following investigations into alleged food stamp trafficking and other illegal activities at several local businesses has pleaded guilty to three federal criminal charges.
Mohammed Qaqa, who worked at Food City, 1829 Germantown St., pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio to charges of dealing in firearms without a license; unauthorized acquisition, possession and use of federal food stamp access devices; and wire fraud.
Qaqa originally faced 11 counts of dealing in firearms illegally, seven counts of misuse of food stamp cards and two counts of wire fraud, but the other charges were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
Still, he could face as many as 40 years in prison and more than $1 million in fines, but few people are sentenced to the maximum penalties, authorities said.
As part of his plea agreement, Qaqa admitted that on April 30, 2010, he sold a 9 mm handgun for $275 while he worked at Food City. The handgun was reported stolen in 2008.
Qaqa also admitted that on June 11 he illegally purchased an electronic food stamp card for $270 that contained $543.39 worth of food benefits, which he used to purchase various items. He admitted that on June 11 he also used a wire communication device to try to defraud the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food stamp program.
While working at Food City, Qaqa illegally sold 11 firearms and caused the loss of $2,779 by illegally trafficking in food stamp cards, according to the plea agreement. Qaqa bought seven cards for half the value of the benefits they contained.
Although we don’t know Mr Qaqa’s final sentencing- I’m sure it’s more than 7 days. One also has to wonder where does Mr. Peppel get $5 million- from an offshore bank account where he stashed the money he stole?
Justice in the United States no longer wears a blindfold, just a green accountant’s visor, checking off your balance sheet to see if you can afford the “get out of jail free” card- while the poor continue to “go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200.”
Judge Sandra Beckwith should be disbarred and thrown in prison immediately. Note, she was appointed by GW Bush, as if you would have guessed otherwise.
There is no excuse for her soft touch sentencing on this CEO- Criminal Extra Ordinary.