In-House Counsel

Judge Rebuffs Request for 230-Year Sentence for Ex-Gen Re Lawyer

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A former assistant general counsel at General Re Corp. was sentenced yesterday to a year and a day in prison for his role in a scheme to manipulate financial statements, a sentence far lower than the 230 years in prison sought by prosecutors.

Lawyer Robert Graham had been accused of participating in a scheme with four other Gen Re officials to inflate reserves for the American International Group, the National Law Journal reports. He was convicted last year of conspiracy, securities fraud, mail fraud and making false statements to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, according to the story.

U.S. District Judge Christopher Droney of Hartford imposed the 366-day prison term along with a $100,000 fine, according to a press release.

Graham’s lawyers had argued for a light sentence in a Nov. 21 sentencing memorandum. “Mr. Graham is not a high-level executive accused of orchestrating a fraud for his own financial benefit. Rather, his case is more akin to other cases concerning in-house counsel involved in fraud schemes from which they did not personally benefit,” the document said.

Susan Hackett, general counsel for the Association of Corporate Counsel, told the NLJ that Graham’s sentence “seems more in line with a liability for a corporate failure than hundreds of years in prison.”

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