Just days before Bernard Madoff captured the nation's attention as the largest Ponzi schemer in U.S. history, Marc Dreier, a prominent Manhattan attorney, was arrested for orchestrating a massive fraud that netted over $750 million.
Following his arrest, Dreier and his lead defense attorney, Gerald Shargel, spent a great deal of time trying to strike the right tone in appealing to U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff for a lighter sentence than the 145 years prosecutors wanted for conspiracy, fraud and money laundering.
(Read More: Diary of a Scam: The Fall of Power Attorney Marc Dreier.)
This is not just for the obvious reason of shortening his prison sentence — as a 60-year-old man (now 62), Dreier stands a decent chance of dying in prison anyway. But the length of the sentence also helps determine the type of facility where convicts are sent.
(Read More: The Best Places to Go to Prison.)
In the end, though, Dreier was sentenced to serve 20 years at the Federal Correctional Institution at Sandstone, which is a low-security federal prison in Northern Minnesota. U.S. Bureau of Prisons policy generally requires that inmates with longer sentences serve their time at a higher-security facility. Madoff, for example, was sentenced a few weeks before Dreier to 150 years at a medium-security facility in North Carolina.
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