Attorney for Steve Clary Asks Federal Judge for Leniency in Sentencing

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Jul. 22, 2013 12:00 am  

Steve Clary

A big part of her argument is this:

The seven-figure value of Clary’s crime — which Peters variously described as a “misstep in judgment,” a “momentary lapse in judgment” and a “mishap” — wasn’t really very large when you consider just how rich he had been.

“For someone worth $92 million at the end of 2007, the requested diversionary amounts were nominal,” Peters wrote.

And elsewhere: “When one considers the fortune Mr. Clary had legally amassed; the downturn in the market that caused many to stumble, the sum of money that was converted in comparison with his former net worth a few months previously, the fact that he is now and forevermore labeled a convicted felon because of one bad judgment call; that, in and of itself, is punishment enough.”

And to sum it up: “His downward spiral was severe, due in large part to the volatile market. But should this spiral from $92 million to a diversion of less than $2 million be grounds for a prison sentence?”

Whispers, taken aback at the suggestion that the wealthy should get more lenient sentences because their crimes are smaller relative to their net worth, ran Peters’ argument by some well-known criminal defenders.

A couple of them laughed. One said, “I wouldn’t try that argument on Judge Holmes.” Another said, “If it works, I’ll keep it in mind for one of my clients.”

Peters did not return a call for comment.



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