Sequence of arguments for sentencing in Scott London case

After the sentencing yesterday for former KPMG partner Scott London, I was confused by conflicting comments indicating the defense had both requested probation and a short jail sentence during the hearing. Those seem to be contradictory positions.

The Wall Street Journal article Former KPMG Partner Scott London Gets 14 Months for Insider Trading helps me put a few pieces together.

The article has the following comment:

After the judge had made clear that some prison time would be served, Mr. Braun asked for a six- to 12-month sentence for his client. Mr. Braun had initially requested a sentence of probation for his client, with no jail time.

Putting together the pieces of information that are visible in print, here’s what I think happened:

Federal guidelines point toward a sentence of 46 to 57 months. The U.S. Probation Office recommended a downward departure to 36 months. In the presentencing report the Assistant US Attorney agreed. I’ve mentioned that info before.

I think this was the sequence yesterday:

The prosecutor asked for 36 months in court.

The defense requested probation. I’m not sure if it was just Mr. London’s attorney making that request or whether he and his attorney made that plea.

The judge made a comment that prison time was necessary both because of the seriousness of the crime and to be a deterrent for others.

With probation off the table, Mr. London’s attorney asked for 6 to 12 months.

The judge issued sentence of 14 months with 3 years probation after jail.

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