Friday, August 01, 2014

One day sentence reversed

Defendant Musgrave was a CPA who became involved in a tire recycling company.  Unfortunately for Musgrave, he picked the wrong partner, and as a result, the company went under. Musgrave lost a significant amount of cash, and so brought in the FBI, the SEC and Australian authorities to investigate his partner.  As a result, Musgrave himself was indicated on ten counts, including bank fraud and wire fraud.  His partner was also indicted, pled guilty, and received probation.  Musgrave went to trial and was convicted.

At sentencing, the court found the advisory Guidelines to be 57 to 71 months incarceration, but imposed a sentence of one day incarceration, citing his lack of criminal history, his own losses in the company, his decades of service to the community, the fact that the Guidelines overstated his culpability, and the restitution that would be imposed.  The Sixth Circuit reversed this sentence, finding that the district court considered impermissible factors in imposing the sentence, such as the civil losses incurred, the loss of his CPA license, and the fact that his felony conviction would be a part of his record.  The Court indicated that because these matters were not "consequences of his sentence" they could not be considered.  Further, the Court indicated that the district court failed to give adequate consideration to general deterrence, and that incarceration is favored for the type of offenses for which Musgrave was convicted.  The full opinion is here.

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