If you were worried that Jim Bolt — aka Inmate No. 04831-062 at the Lexington, Kentucky, federal correctional facility — might have been sentenced too harshly by U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks of Fayetteville, you can relax.
The 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals at St. Louis has given a close look at the 100-month sentence that Brooks slapped on Bolt last June and concluded that Bolt was a perfect candidate for an “upward departure” from the usual sentencing guideline of 57-71 months.
Bolt, who pleaded guilty to mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering, appealed the sentence on three points: that he didn’t steal quite as much as the feds said he did, that his scheme wasn’t as sophisticated as the prosecutor and judge thought it was, and that his previous convictions were too long ago to be used against him.
But a three-judge panel, in a seven-page decision authored by Judge Diana E. Murphy, agreed with Brooks’ decision.
You may recall that Bolt, 61, admitted creating fraudulent documents in order to steal $2.4 million in unclaimed property held by the state of California. Prosecutors said he also pulled a similar scam in Nevada, pushing the total value of his crimes to $2.5 million.
Bolt is scheduled for release by the Federal Bureau of Prisons in January 2020, but, given his history of cardiopulmonary disease, Bolt himself has called it “essentially a life sentence.”