Mortgage Exec Lee Farkas Sentenced to 30 Years

A federal judge in Virginia sentenced former mortgage executive Lee Farkas to 30 years in prison today, and ordered him to $38.5 million. He was convicted of a fraud scheme involving $2 billion.

The government, aiming to send a message to the financial industry, asked Judge Brinkema to impose the maximum 385-year sentence on Mr. Farkas. As an alternative, the government recommended a penalty of at least 50 years to ensure he will “spend the remainder of his life in prison.”

Farkas was convicted of 14 counts of securities, bank and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud after a ten day trial in which he testified in his own defense. What did his co-conspirators get? Those who pleaded guilty and cooperated got between 3 months and 8 years.

I'm surprised they didn't also ask the judge to chop off his hands.

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    There is no crime more serious, (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Peter G on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 08:26:18 PM EST
    when it comes to sentencing in federal court, than failing to plead guilty.

    laughed out loud at that (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jul 01, 2011 at 01:36:15 AM EST
    comment, thanks, Peter!

    more sentences (none / 0) (#1)
    by observed on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 07:57:51 PM EST
    Like this, please!! I would reserve hand chopping for the geniuses behind robosigning. At its worst financial crime causes far more suffering than a single violent crime. Statistically speaking, Skilling undoubtedly caused early deaths, for example.
     That said,  I agree with the implied point about the relative sentencing.

    Spelling alert, Jeralyn: "Mortgage" (none / 0) (#2)
    by Anne on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 08:19:27 PM EST
    is missing that first "g."

    thanks, Anne (none / 0) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jul 01, 2011 at 01:37:23 AM EST
    just fixed it

    Crime doesn't pay... (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 08:43:30 PM EST
    but snitching sure does.

    This does not even resemble justice when one guy gets 30 years and his partners in crime sing like canaries and get as little as 3 months...not even close.

    And why only request 385 years...go for a millenia if we're out to sell our soul to punish the bad guys.

    Of course, this is a real case of real crime, not bullsh*t non-crime we send people to cages over...but our reliance on the chains and cages even in cases like this never fails to break my heart...like Dadler always says we have no imagination what so ever.

    Get the dirty money back to its rightful owners, thats just...and how about community service at a homeless shelter 40 hours a week for 5 years for the grifter.  Does that not meet the goal of corrections and restitution in a more humane manner that does some good for the community? And maybe the slimeball will learn the err of his ways...ya never know.  All prison will teach him is not to get caught...or to be a rat crook once caught aka go lower than the low.

    if someone loses a home (none / 0) (#5)
    by observed on Fri Jul 01, 2011 at 01:17:14 AM EST
    Or is  unable to get medical  care because of fraud, restitution does not cut it .

    30 years cage time... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by kdog on Fri Jul 01, 2011 at 09:16:11 AM EST
    helps them how?  Vengeance?  They still need $2.50 to ride the bus.

    Anybody know who gets the 38 mill and change seized?  Does the state glom all of that or does some/all of it go to the victims?


    I believe that a fundamental (none / 0) (#10)
    by observed on Fri Jul 01, 2011 at 10:36:44 AM EST
    principle of justice is that the punishment should be proportional to the crime.
    Financial theft on such a grand scale can have horrific consequences, including loss of property, health and life. While I don't know much about this case in particular, I have no sympathy for such criminals in general, specifically Skilling.
    You have said in the past something like "it's only money", but "only money" can make the difference between having a home or not, having medical care or not, living or not, especially for the elderly.

    I think that is where we differ... (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Fri Jul 01, 2011 at 10:44:09 AM EST
    Proportion...being caged like an animal at the zoo is serious f*ckin' business, 12 hours in a measley holding cell had me going half-batty...I can't imagine a whole week, a whole year, a whole life of freedom denied.  It is a form of torture, and we treat it like a joke.

    I agree financial crimes of this magnitude are very serious crimes, causing serious damage...I also think 30 years of caging is a serious crime, causing serious damage to our collective soul.  We can do better and hold the bastards who rob the country blind accountable at the same time.  


    of course crime pays. if it didn't, we wouldn't (none / 0) (#8)
    by cpinva on Fri Jul 01, 2011 at 02:58:31 AM EST
    have so many criminals. i'm guessing mr. farkas has substantial funds tucked away in an off-shore account, and his family won't go hungry. unfortunately, the same can't be said for many of the people he bilked.

    i'm also guessing mr. farkas is the official sacrificial lamb, for this latest financial disaster.

    $2B is chump change. (none / 0) (#12)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Jul 01, 2011 at 04:18:21 PM EST
    Meanwhile Angelo "the Tan Man" Mozilo waltzes away free as a... well, as a rich felon.