U.S. seeks 145-year sentence for NY lawyer
NEW YORK |
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. prosecutors on Wednesday asked a judge to sentence high-profile New York lawyer and admitted fraudster Marc Dreier to 145 years imprisonment or a term that ensures he spends the rest of his life in prison.
Dreier, 59, pleaded guilty in May to running a $400 million investment fraud involving fake promissory notes and he was released into house arrest until his sentencing on July 13.
While the size of the fraud is dwarfed by comparison with the estimated $65 billion disgraced financier Bernard Madoff admitted to swindling, prosecutors asked for a similar term of incarceration, the highest allowed by sentencing guidelines. Madoff, 71, was sentenced to 150 years in prison on June 29.
In a memorandum to U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff, prosecutors wrote that Harvard and Yale educated Dreier, despite his advantages "decided to seek vast personal riches and prestige through a life of fraud and through dishonor to his profession."
The memorandum concluded that "a reasonable sentence in this case would be the guidelines' sentence of 145 years, or alternatively, a term of years that would assure that Dreier will remain in prison for life and forcefully promote general deterrence."
Dreier's lawyer Gerald Shargel suggested the judge give his client between 10 years and one month and 12 years and seven months in prison as an appropriate sentence.
Dreier is "profoundly remorseful" and has done what he can to make amends for his crimes, Shargel said in his sentencing memorandum.
Dreier, himself, wrote Judge Rakoff, telling him, "There is no excuse whatsoever for what I have done." He added that he expected and deserved a significant prison sentence.
"For me, the punishment that I receive from this court will only be part of my sentence," he wrote. "I have already been disgraced beyond anything I could ever have imagined.
"Despite whatever good I once accomplished in my life, and what I had hoped to accomplish, I will always be remembered as a thief," Dreier wrote.
(Reporting by Grant McCool and Martha Graybow, editing by Leslie Gevirtz)
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