Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sentencing Disparities

I just posted a discussion of the Thorson case here and earlier posted a discussion of the Quellos principals' sentencing here.  For conduct that does not appear dissimilar except that the Quellos' defendants conduct (including relevant conduct) involved far more tax loss, Thorson got 108 months and the Quellos defendants got 50 months.  And, one of the Quellos defendants, like Thorson, was an attorney who failed in his responsibilities as an attorney as fully as did Thorson.  Yet, the sentencing courts imposed incredibly disparate sentences.  While that is certainly possible in a post-Booker world, I am not sure it is to be lauded.  Which, if any of those sentences, are appropriate may depend upon the eye of the beholder, but it does seem to the eye of this beholder that there is some basic unfairness in the existence of that type of disparity.

Addendum 1/30/11 4:26pm:  Let me add this one also, where for a bogus tax shelter, the lawyer got 18 months in prison.  See DOJ Press Release of 1/28/11.

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