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A Letter From Prosion Essay

3388 words - 14 pages


Stephen Richards respectfully submits this Memorandum regarding his re-sentencing. The purpose of this submission is to highlight pertinent developments in the lives of Mr. Richards and his family members in the four years since the Court originally imposed a sentence of 84 months imprisonment. Mr. Richards has been incarcerated for 43 months. He has earned all available “good time” credit, which brings his total time served to 49 months. Certain events since his incarceration were unanticipated at the time of sentencing, and others demonstrate Mr. Richards’ rehabilitation to an extraordinary degree. These events are described below and are fleshed ...view middle of the document...

As the Court found at Mr. Richards initial sentencing, the “35-day month practice was well underway when Richards attained a management level position,” and those approving the practice included the CEO, CFO, General Counsel and Vice President of Finance. (Sentencing Tr. 18.)
In April 2006, Mr. Richards pleaded guilty to all counts of a superseding indictment charging him with conspiracy to commit securities fraud (Count One); securities fraud (Count Two); false SEC filings (Counts Three through Five); conspiracy to obstruct justice (Count Six); obstruction of justice (Count Seven); and perjury in SEC testimony (Count Eight). The Court calculated a Guidelines offense level of 50, carrying a range of life imprisonment.
In November 2006, Mr. Richards was sentenced. The Court determined, without objection from the Government, that a non-Guidelines sentence was appropriate. It was undisputed at sentencing that Mr. Richards had joined the 35-Day Month practice in its last stages and that he had not obtained any significant financial benefit from the practice other than to keep his position as an executive at CA. The Court found that Mr. Richards had “with the exception of these offenses, lived a law abiding life, greatly respected and admired by virtually every person with whom he had engaged socially and professionally, as a very thick volume of letters would attest.” (Sentencing Tr. at 19.) The Court also took into account that the negative impact of Richards’ incarceration would be exacerbated because (i) his wife and children were returning to Australia for economic reasons to reside with his wife’s parents; (ii) as a non-U.S. citizen, Mr. Richards would not be eligible for a prison camp or certain sentencing alternatives (e.g., halfway house) available only to U.S. citizens; and (iii) Mr. Richards struggles with depression associated with his diagnosed Bipolar Disorder.
The Court sentenced Mr. Richards as follows: (i) a period of 84 months imprisonment; (ii) no fine because of Mr. Richards’ inability to pay; and (iii) mandatory restitution of $29 million, payable as a percentage of wages following his release. At Mr. Richards’ request, the Court recommended that he be designated to Taft CI in Taft, California. Mr. Richards requested that designation with the hope that its location on the west coast would facilitate visits from his wife and children from Australia.
Mr. Richards voluntarily surrendered at Taft on February 27, 2007. He has now served 43 months of his sentence. Because he has earned all available good time credit, he is effectively credited with 49 months. His current release date (under his sentence of seven years’ imprisonment) is April 2, 2013. As discussed below, if Mr. Richards’ sentence were reduced to five years’ imprisonment, his release date would be moved up to late May or early June 2011.



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