The Supreme Court of Justice, which is just behind the Capitol. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Stolen Valor Act - Everyone realizes that there needs to be protection of free speech, even speech that we find despicable. Yesterday, the Supreme Court also agreed with that by striking down the Stolen Valor Act that had made it against the law to lie about one's military service awards. The case got to the highest court because Xavier Alvarez, who was on the California water board of Panoma County, had made a public comment that he had won the Medal of Honor for his military service with the Marine Corp. Truth was, he never served in ANY branch of the military. While the decision may keep guys like Alvarez out of jail, it can't keep people from saying stupid things.
Lawyer's 10-year Prison Sentence Upheld - Lynne Stewart was an attorney for an Egyptian cleric who was suspected of terrorist activities. She was then busted for relaying messages from her client to known terrorist followers of the cleric. She was found guilty of these crimes and was sentenced to 28 months in prison. After receiving her sentence, Stewart was caught on tape playing down the sentence she received as being easy by saying that she could do that prison sentence "on my head," The prosecutors heard the tape, appealed the sentence as being too light and the judge gave her 10 years. Tough hit for the 72 year old Stewart. Note to file, any sentence a judge gives you is just right.
Is Another Madoff Guilty Plea In The Words? - Peter Madoff is expected to plead guilty today in New York for his role in big brother Bernie's Ponzi scheme. Peter, who was head of compliance at Madoff Securities, has agreed to a sentence of 10 years in prison. He is 66 years old. With that, the focus now points to Peter's daughter, Shana, also a member of that tough compliance team at Madoff's firm. Shana went to work for her father, Peter Madoff, after graduating from Fordham Law School in 1995 to work in the compliance department.
More Money For Regulatory Agencies - While some members of Congress call for more regulation, perhaps the answer is that the regulations we have are sufficient but we need more money pumped into the agencies for enforcement of those regulations. The Commodities Future Trading Commission fined Barclays $200 million (part of over $417 million the bank paid) to settle the case of fixing LIBOR rates. That single fine is more than the annual budget of the CFTC. However, Congress wants to cut the CFTC budget further. Now might be a good time to ask for more money.