2 year prison sentence for corruption case

I’ve been following the corruption case in the city next to where I live. Links to earlier discussions are at end of this post.

The mayor was accused of accepting bribes from a local business in return for helping them get back in business. In April 2012, he pled guilty to one count of bribery. The remaining 9 charges were dropped at the sentencing.

Yesterday he was sentenced to two years in federal prison.

The sentencing is reported in the Daily Bulletin’s article, Ex-Upland Mayor Pomierski sentenced to two years in prison for bribery.

At the sentencing, he read a letter which included the following comment:

“The last two years have been difficult. I lost my wife, lost my friends, lost work and the job I loved the most, being mayor of Upland,” Pomierski said. “I was dead wrong. I know I will pay for it. I already have paid for it in the last two years in some way, shape or form.”

The tragedy of fraud

Before you say that a two-year sentence is light, keep in mind that trials are risky. For the mayor, there is a chance he could have been convicted on all 10 counts and faced an extremely long sentence. For the prosecutor it is the same. Their case could have fall apart. A negotiated two-year sentences a good settlement on both sides.

Let’s look at some of the other penalties.  I will take his comment in court at face value because I know nothing more about his situation than what I’ve read in the newspaper.

Here’s a list of the wages of his scheme:

  • Two years in prison. 730 days and nights.
  • His wife left him.
  • Many of his friends have abandoned him.
  • He lost his construction company, which was the source of his income.
  • He has filed for personal bankruptcy.
  • He lost his job as mayor.
  • He is a convicted felon, a status that will never go away.
  • His friends, family, and everyone who knows him now knows he has confessed to accepting a bribe.
  • The tale of his felonious behavior will be visible on the ‘net for decades to come.
  • His grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren who decide to research their ancestry will get to read all about this incident.
  • When released from jail he will never get a job that requires any licensing. He will never work in construction or public service again.
  • He will be 60 years old when released from prison. It’s likely his only retirement income will be Social Security, which is a severe change from what he was expecting just three years ago.
  • His future standard of living will be a small fraction of what it’s been the last several decades.

That is a serious amount of consequences. I don’t go through that list because I’m sorry for him. He deserves it all.

I go through that list of consequences because I wish fraudsters were somehow able to ponder the severity of consequences before they engage in their shenanigans.

Previous posts:

I’ve previously discussed this incident, primarily from the perspective of an auditor:

Full disclosure: I am a casual acquaintance of the new, current mayor of Upland. I have no information or knowledge of this case other than what I’ve read in public sources.

Update 8-27-12: One of the secondary players has been sentenced after pleading guilty to two charges: conspiracy to commit bribery and making false statements.  Of note is that lying to the feds during an investigation will likely get you a felony charge.  See the Daily Bulletin article Hennes sentenced to six months prison, six months house arrest.

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