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Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing $1 Million, Gets No Jail Time
When it comes to pulling a high-stakes scam or heist, one judge has ensured that Orange County is the safest place to do it. An Orange County man scammed more than a million dollars as part of a criminal conspiracy, but will only serve one year of probation as part of the sentence handed down by US District Judge Cormac J. Carney.
The unusually light ruling was handed down to Michael Scott Grayson, who was arrested by the FBI in 2008 for participating in a criminal conspiracy that used fraud and faked documents to steal huge sums of money through an equipment leasing scam. Grayson quickly signed a guilty plea for his part in the criminal conspiracy.
As reported on by OC Weekly’s Navel Gazing blog, Judge Carney allowed the case to stay unresolved for almost five years, from 2008 until 2013. And when Grayson was finally sentenced, he was given one day in prison, which the judge deemed served, and a year of probation.
In her brief, Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer L. Waier indicated that the interests of justice required, at minimum, 30 months in a federal prison, even with the guilty plea.
So why did Grayson get off relatively scot free? OC Weekly has a few theories, the first of which is that Grayson is a prominent business owner with 12 Verizon stores throughout the Los Angeles area. They also note that Grayson made a large donation to a Southern California police union prior to his sentencing, and that Grayson played upon Carney’s loyalty to his alma mater, UCLA, in a letter in which Grayson describes taking his daughters to the school’s sporting events.
The official reasoning behind Judge Carney’s sentencing is unknown, as he included no note in the written court record, though this sends a clear message to white collar criminals across America: come to Orange County to steal a million dollars! The sun is shining, the beaches are relaxing, and getting a significant prison sentence is almost unheard of!
Image Credit: OC WeeklyMan Pleads Guilty to Stealing $1 Million, Gets No Jail Time by Andrew Ostler