60 Years for Texas Ponzi Schemer
Texas is not a place where you want to be tried for crimes. Take it from someone who lived most his life there, criminality is very much frowned upon there. I grew up in a rural Texas county that due to the magic of change of venue motions, had three concurrent murder trials take place in the county courthouse. All three juries rendered guilty verdicts and all three defendants were sentenced to death.
The Associated Press reported yesterday the case of Ronald Keith Owens, a 73-year old Texas resident who was found guilty of running a Ponzi scheme. His crime only took $2.6 million from investors unlike the billions Mr. Madoff may have taken in a much larger Ponzi scheme. By my reckoning, Mr. Owens got a year in prison for every $43,333 he took. By that logic, Mr. Madoff would be entitled to 23,077 years in a Texas prison for every billion he made off with. That's some justice!
Owens 60 year sentence is just the Texas part of his debt to society. He also gets to spend an additional 63 months in a Federal prison. Texas justice makes the Feds look timid. Should the SEC cede jurisdiction to Texas when it gets around to prosecuting Madoff?
Ramalinda Raju, the former Chairman of Satyam, has admitted that he overstated the company's cash position by about a billion dollars. He better hope Texas doesn't get jurisdiction over this case.