Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Is it right to offer a deal to a criminal who, to save his own skin, suddenly goes "honest"?

Scott Farah, the man who stole our life savings and caused devastating, irreparable financial and emotional harm to almost five hundred people, pleaded guilty last week.  A plea of "Not Guilty" would have been a joke, as the evidence was beyond overwhelming.

Apparently there's some equation for this type of white collar crime that determines the minimum and maximum sentence.  We've heard the maximum sentence he could get is 19 1/2 years, the minimum 15.  We received notification from the FBI that the Federal prosecutor is asking for leniency in his sentencing because Scott "cooperated" with them.  If he gets the minimum, I'm told he could be out in 10 years.  He's in his mid-forties, so he'll be in his mid-fifties when he gets out.  Certainly young enough to start over - or to disappear to wherever our money is stashed to live the next thirty or so years in comfort.  Either way he'll be better off than 99% of his victims.

This man seemed to target older people for his scam.  At 59 and 60, my husband and I are among the youngest of his victims - and among the luckiest.  Although our savings were wiped clean and the investment income suddenly gone, we are fortunate.  Hubby was able to find a full-time job that is paying the bills and we have a beautiful home to sell.  I'll cry like a baby when we pull out of the driveway for the last time, but at least we have it.  This crook was able to convince many investors to take out equity lines on their homes and invest that money with him.  Now, many older people, who were completely dependent on their investment income to survive, are destitute.  These are people who worked hard their entire lives and were able to set aside a nest egg to insure a secure retirement.  They are now in their 60's, 70's and 80's.  Because of this man's arrogance, stupidity and greed, some have filed for bankruptcy and others have been forced to turn to the welfare system simply to survive. 

Because Scott suddenly decided that honesty is the best policy - simply to save his own butt - he deserves a reduced sentence?  In my opinion, the maximum sentence isn't nearly long enough.


  1. He did the crime and should do the time-all of it. It's a little too late to become "honest". Actually, he made a deal he didn't all of sudden become an honest man. What was gained from his new-found "honesty" anyway? Were people given back what they lost as a result?

  2. Is there an officer of the court or other official to whom we could email comments? He knowingly stole from almost 500 people, ruined their lives and stole their dreams.

  3. The chances of anyone receiving a dime of our lost monies is slim and none. In fact, when Farah's company was forced into bankruptcy, a trustee was appointed by the Federal court and that trustee has demanded MORE money (an amount equal to the last 3 months of interest payments) from all the investors - which is completely legal. He is well aware that many have no way of paying him that amount, but he has his eye on those he believes can.

    I believe that victims will be allowed to speak at Farah's sentencing hearing in January. I think the judge will get an earful...

  4. Hope you are going to fill the ears on that day. No, it is not right or fair.

  5. I hope many of those elderly victims show up for the sentencing and demand a fair judgement. It's up to our judges to protect the elderly from scammers. We are all vulnerable, but they are particularly so due to failing memory, dementia, paranoia, confusion and so many other common ailments of the aging brain. Con men deserve the maximum penalty, which should include restitution of some form after they get out.