Thursday, April 18, 2019

Solid as Sears or rotten as Steven Muchin

What's left of the once the once storied Sears Roebuck & Co has filed suit against it former Chief Executive Officer Eddie Lampert and a string of its high-profile past board members, including Lampert's former Yale roommate, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, alleging they conspired to steal $2 billion in assets from the company forcing it into bankruptcy. 

Looting the assets of a company and then stiffing all the creditors has been standard operating procedure for 'yuge' business in America ever since Ronald Reagan de-criminalized many of the practices that people like Trump depend on to make these schemes work. But some of these practices aren't completely de-criminalized and the not-so-bright individuals involved do sometimes get caught.

Trump isn't as afraid of the redacted Mueller report as he is of the number of spin-off prosecutions that are still under seal. Trump's ex-lawyer Micheal Cohen alluded to Trump's practice of inflating and deflating the value of assets to his advantage. This is called wire fraud, bank fraud, tax fraud and insurance fraud. Considering the amount of money involved, these offenses potentially carry decades in prison.

This is how white collar crime works, stealing from poor people is applauded; stealing a little from other rich people is just part of the game, stealing a lot (if your victims are rich) gets you Bernie Madoff like prison time.  The reason Lori Loughlin didn't plea bargain her college admission bribery case while Felicity Huffman did is the amount of money involved. Having paid 'only' $14,000 in bribes, Huffman will get a slap on the wrist. Aunt Becky spent hundreds of thousands and will do some significant prison time.  Trump is feverishly scheming to avoid dying in prison.