“Amish Bernie Madoff” Money Manager Gets Light Sentence for Fraud

“Amish Bernie Madoff” Money Manager Gets Light Sentence for Fraud

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The penalty for stealing $17 million from 2,700 victims and wiping out their life savings is only 6 1/2 years of prison, according to the sentence recently imposed – or perhaps more accurately said, gifted – by a U.S. District Court to Monroe Beachy of Ohio.

Six-and-a-half years of prison for $17 million of stolen money comes to about $2.6 million a year.  Not too bad, many crooks out there will undoubtedly think.

Beachy, an Amish investment professional, in fact requested to serve his sentence by way of home confinement.  Watching TV at home for six years, mowing the lawn, chatting with the neighbors sounds like a perfectly appropriate penalty for stealing $17 million.

In an unusual twist, some of Beachy’s victims asked the court to allow their religious community to settle the matter with Beachy “out of court.”

The federal judge said no;  Beachy must go to the same place where all convicted felons go.  But only for six-and-a-half years.

Prosecutors accused Beachy of raising about $33 million from more than 3,200 investors from 29 states, chiefly from the Amish community.  His victims included widows, retirees, children, a church, a charitable fund for the Amish, a school cookbook fund, and a non-profit established to support the Amish way of life.

Beachy’s defense at trial essentially amounted to “it’s someone else’s fault.”  A broker misled him, some trades went bad, blah blah blah.  With crooks, it’s always someone else’s fault.

But not to worry, Beachy assured the Court: he has confessed his sins to God and asked for forgiveness.

The Almighty did not file an amicus brief with the Court to indicate what His response was.

Extensive coverage of the Beachy matter here: http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2012/06/ohios_amish_bernie_madoff_gets.html.  Mugshot courtesy of the US Marshall Service.

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