A Toledo investment executive sentenced in 2003 to 20 years in the collapse of Liberte Capital Group LLC is arguing that he should be released immediately.
The U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati is weighing a motion filed by J. Richard Jamieson, founder and former managing director of the Toledo firm whose collapse led to losses of nearly $100 million by 2,200 investors nationwide.
Under changes in federal sentencing guidelines brought about by recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings, Jamieson can be required to serve no more than six months in prison, lawyer Susan Bogart, of Chicago, argued on his behalf in a written motion.
Having served 17 months, Jamieson has exceeded that and should be released, the attorney argued. She did not return a call seeking comment.
Attorney Seth Uram disputes the arguments, but said Jamieson likely will be sent back to U.S. District Court in Toledo, where he was originally sentenced, for re-sentencing.
That is how the Appeals Court has handled similar requests from prisoners who have argued that changes in sentencing guidelines have invalidated their original sentences.
On one aspect on the case alone, he would be required to serve 3 1/2 to 4 years, Mr. Uram argued in a motion.
"It is likely the district court would re-sentence Jamieson to the 20-year sentence already imposed," the prosecutor added.
He pointed to an earlier order by Judge David Katz, of U.S. District Court in Toledo, describing as "ridiculously low" a sentence of 3 1/2 to 4 years.
A federal jury in Toledo convicted Jamieson in June, 2003, on 159 counts of mail fraud conspiracy, money-laundering, and making false statements before a court. Judge Katz ordered him to pay $92 million in restitution.
Appeals judges likely will deal with the sentencing issue when they rule on Jamieson's appeal of his conviction, probably in early summer, the prosecutor said.
Jamieson's attorney and Mr. Uram presented oral arguments on the appeal March 15.
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