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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Another mega-thief walks free in the US

Marc S. Dreier, center, with Michael Strahan and William Shatner at a party in 2007

Tue, 12 May 2009 - While the US criminal justice system is notoriously punitive and heavy-handed when it comes to crimes of theft and trespass, its collective heart melts when it comes up against a mega-criminal. Witness the ability of self-confessed fraud, thief, and confidence trickster Marc S. Dreier, who pled guilty on Monday in a New York court to selling $400 million worth of fake promissory notes and running an illegal Ponzi scheme, yet managed to walk free from the courthouse.

This echoes another US court's compassion toward Mr. Bernard Madoff, who was allowed bail, despite being charged with the biggest fraud in the history of mankind, near $50 billion, and who, while under 'house arrest' in his mansion apartment in New York, was busy dispensing his private possessions to relatives to avoid being forced to provide even meager restitution to his countless creditors.

Not so lucky was Mr. Jerry Williams, 27, who in 1995 was sentenced to 25 years to life for stealing a slice of pizza. Admittedly, it could have been his third offense, which put him at the wrong end of California's "three strikes" law, but in all likelihood, all that Mr. Williams ever stole in his life would not amount to Harvard Law School graduate Marc Dreier's gasoline costs for his Aston Martin and Mercedes.

Welcome to the US of A.

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