Sentencing date set for Scruggs – Will justice be served?

Judge Biggers set July 2 as the sentencing date for Dick Scruggs, his son Zach, and Sid Backstrom in a notice issued today. h/t Y’all

Although written from the corporate perspective, attorney Joan McPhee’s recent comments on modern day justice provide an abundance of food for thought about the pressure to plead guilty to avoid a potentially harsh sentence.

Behind the weekly headlines of corporate guilty pleas and multimillion-dollar corporate criminal resolutions lies a back story — little known, less well understood — that challenges the core of what those headlines pronounce. In a peculiar 21st century phenomenon, guilt or innocence has become largely beside the point for corporations defending themselves against aggressive federal prosecutors and allegations of criminal wrongdoing.

How else to explain the non sequitur in the advice that seasoned white-collar counsel often give to their Fortune 500 clients: While the evidence is strongly in the company’s favor, and there are excellent legal and constitutional defenses to the alleged misconduct, the company nevertheless should consider admitting to criminal wrongdoing and entering a plea of guilt.

McPhee also wrote about the plea agreements offered the guilty that leave others to pay the price. That’s the bottom line, IMO, to the sentencing of Scruggs, his son, and Backstrom – and Patterson, as well. Continue reading “Sentencing date set for Scruggs – Will justice be served?”

Beauvoir is Back!

A symbol of our continued recovery is repaired and ready again for tourist. It has also attracted the interests of the national media. Kat Bergeron has the Sun Herald story.

In the history of Hurricane Katrina recovery, Beauvoir is a Humpty Dumpty “back together again” story getting national attention.

The restored 1852 National Historic Landmark reopens Tuesday with a public celebration and tours for the first time since the 2005 storm destroyed all but the house on the beachfront estate where Jefferson Davis spent his retirement. Continue reading “Beauvoir is Back!”

More Background on James Perdigao from the ABA Journal

We are in the process of matching up the dates contained in the government indictment of James Perdigao against those in the civil complaint. For now I’ll throw out this article from 2007 that ran in the ABA Journal on the criminal side of the case.

Before I post the article I’ll share a few things from it that strike me as strange such as Perdigao getting away with skimming Adam and Reese receivables undetected for as long as 13 years. In the world of financial fraud such time length is not unheard of but is certainly very unusual and speaks volume to the abysmal internal accounting controls that had to be in place at Adams and Reese. Simply put no one was minding the store.  Typically fraudsters also exhibit behavioral/lifestyle changes that were evidently absent in James Perdigao’s case. Of course none of this means he is innocent or guilty, rather it simply means the criminal case is unusual in respects.

It also reminds me in certain ways of a lawyer in Jackson with the first name of James and his attorney Keith Shelton who were railroaded by the justice system in Hinds county.

Here is the ABA Journal story which I retrieved from the google cache. Continue reading “More Background on James Perdigao from the ABA Journal”

The Times Picayune on Perdigao v Adams & Reese (Updated)

The tale told by James Perdigao in his racketeering complaint against Adams and Reese is simply amazing.  It contains all the elements of a first class political-legal scandal that will make Mississippi’s own Judicial Bribery case look like child’s play. We will update our Perdigao legal page later today with more filings on the criminal side of this case but first we bring you today’s inevitable T-P story on the civil RICO filing. I say inevitable because our post, inspired by a tip from slabbed’s friend Richard Trahant, spread like wildfire in the Louisiana based blogesphere.  We welcome all our of our Louisiana friends here, especially those slabbed by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Besides Katrina our states share Mr Perdigao’s former employer Adams and Reese. More on that and detail on the connections to Worldcom later. First today’s report by Gorden Russell.

In a sensational legal filing, a former partner at Adams and Reese who is awaiting trial on charges that he stole $30 million from the firm claims that the firm has had a hand in scandals ranging from the WorldCom stock fraud to the abuse of Louisiana film tax credits.

The lawsuit also claims the New Orleans firm has made a practice of hiring former public officials, including former Jefferson Parish President Tim Coulon and former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial, and improperly using them to land clients with whom they had dealt as public officials. Coulon and Morial deny the claim. Continue reading “The Times Picayune on Perdigao v Adams & Reese (Updated)”