More White Collar Crime, More White Collar Time

Gov. Cuomo’s proposal for a new class of crimes that would make prosecution of white-collar crimes more accessible was announced just days after one ponzi schemer was sentenced to time served after only six days in jail and $100 in court fees.

Clayton Lewis, the one time advisor for Omega Advisors Inc., pleaded guilty to bribery in 2004 after he lost $126 million of Omega Advisors Inc, according to Bloomberg Businessweek and The FCPA Blog.  A US District Court Justice, Naomi Reice Buchwald, apparently felt the six-days of jail time and a $100 for court fees was appropriate retribution.

So while Gov. Cuomo’s proposal, called the Public Trust Act, aims to make indicting corporate fraud and ponzi scheme operators easier for district attorneys, the state might only be gearing up to hand out more petty sentences.

What makes the Lewis case particularly interesting is that he was granted leniency supposedly because of his cooperation as a state’s witness, but no subsequent indictment against Omega has been filed since Lewis’ 2003 arrest.


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