Sunday, April 20, 2014

More Money Than You Can Shake a Stick At

money makes the world so much greasier
It amazes me, sometimes, how much money gets tossed around when high-level defendants plead "no contest" or "guilty" and yet no one seems to ever go to jail.

Take, for instance, the recent turn of events for several Bell defendants.  The Los Angeles Times reported that five former (city of) Bell city council members have pleaded "no contest".  Seems of the $10 million they "acquired" from city coffers, they are only having to pay back about $1 million (that's 10% of the whole, folks).  Problem is, the article doesn't mention that anyone is going to jail.  Just that they have to pay money.  How about the cars or houses they bought with their ill-gotten gains - do they have to give those back, too? 

In another story, the Wall Street Journal reported that Hewlett Packard  officials have pled guilty to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act.  Basically, they handed over bags of cash for bribes.  That's bags of cash, for heavens sake!  While HP has agreed to pay $108 million in fines, no where is there mention of anyone going to jail.  Persons commit a felony and no one is going to jail?!  We have people languishing in prison because they smoked a joint and these white collar criminals get off scot free with barely a slap on the wrist?!??!

Sounds a bit incredulous to me - but I'm not the judge or prosecutors that signed off on these settlement agreements.  Nope, I'm just the schlub shaking his head asking where is the justice in granting zero prison time to who who admit their guilt?

Clearly, I'm not understanding something.  That or something is rotten in the state of Denmark, and I'm thinking it's the latter.