Robert Miller, a former lawyer for the SEC (and also a former money manager) deserves a prize for his performance in court the other day.
He just escaped a potential 20-year prison sentence by telling the judge that he used to be a “fearful, self-loathing suicidal alcoholic,” says the Wall Street Journal. He was just too drunk to realise that he was participating in a fraud.
It’s like he told his lawyer: ‘No matter how drunk I was, I wouldn’t have” [done it had I known it was a fraud].
Now Miller won’t have to spend anytime in jail. He will just have to live under “supervised release” for 2 years.
This is amazing because Miller already plead guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud, wire fraud and securities fraud in November.
Apparently, entering a guilty plea was just Miller’s laying the groundwork, because here’s how the judge saw it: She thought it showed his immediate acceptance of his crime.
Here’s the rest of the story about how he got out of it, starting from the beginning.
Miller was paid $100,000 to work for Marc Dreier.
Dreier was the mastermind behind a huge scheme that, as NYMag puts it, involved staging fictional conference calls, and impersonating executives, sometimes personally, sometimes with the help of an associate, all while snapping up Warhols and waterfront homes, partying with pop stars and football players, and chasing an endless parade of much-younger women.
Dreier pleaded guilty last year and really will have to spend 20 years in prison.
But Miller, the “associate” who helped Dreier, told the judge that he only did it because he was a drunk. A drunk who was too drunk too realise that he was participating in a fraud.
His lawyer explained to the judge: “If he had been aware this was a bogus note, if he had known this was to deceive, he himself has said, ‘No matter how drunk I was, I wouldn’t have” [done it], Laufer said. “He just came apart at the seams.”
This excuse totally worked.
From Dow Jones:
U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood said she believed that when Miller helped Dreier it was an “act born of desperation” in an otherwise laudable life.
Now Miller is wholly reformed having embraced Alcoholics Anonymous and begun working as a counselor in a California rehabilitation facility.
**Round of applause.**