By Lewis Tesser and Timothy Nolen
A decision out of the District Court for the Southern District of New York demonstrates how courts weigh various factors in determining fines for white collar crime. The case concerned issues of criminal law, securities law and sentencing.
The case, United States v. Peterson, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127282 (S.D.N.Y. November 1, 2011), involved a criminal defendant who pled guilty to securities fraud. The Court imposed a fine of $400,000 upon the defendant but allowed the defendant to file a submission addressing the amount of the fine. Although the defendant proposed $120,000 as an appropriate fine, the Court upheld the $400,000 figure, explaining that the defendant owned far in excess of $3 million in real estate and other assets and that the $400,000 fine would provide adequate deterrence and was punitive.
Peterson is a good example of what can be at financial stake in white collar criminal cases. At Tesser, Ryan & Rochman, LLP, our attorneys’ experience with both business law and criminal law allows us to advise clients on how to defend white collar criminal matters.