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Charles Keating Trials: 1991-99

Keating Draws Maximum Sentence

During the sentencing hearing on April 10, 1992, seven small investors testified, and begged Judge Ito to punish Keating to the maximum extent provided by law. One of the witnesses, Harriet Chappuise, stated that "Charles Keating did not steal a loaf of bread. He stole the bread out of the mouths of thousands of old people. Try, Mr. Keating, try living on Social Security checks." Ito sentenced Keating to the statutory maximum of 10 years in prison, and to pay a $250,000 fine, but Keating's lawyers immediately began to appeal the conviction and sentence. Keating's lawyers argued that the number of legal actions against him violated his right to due process under the Constitution. Defense attorney Neal stated:

You can make a pretty good case that it is overkill and a waste of taxpayers' money.

Joseph W. Cotchett, an attorney representing one of the plaintiffs in the civil cases against Keating, did not concede that there was any due process violation resulting from "overkill" litigation, but agreed that there are too many federal agencies jumping on the bandwagon too late to do any good:

Where were all the inside-the-beltway bureaucrats when Charley Keating was riding high on the backs of the public?

Keating was prosecuted in a second criminal trial in Los Angeles, this time for violating federal laws against fraud, conspiracy and racketeering. The case went to trial in October 1992, and on January 6, 1993 the jury returned a guilty verdict on all 73 criminal counts against Keating. This trial resulted in a sentence of 151 months in jail. As with the state trial in Los Angeles, Keating's lawyers immediately began to appeal the conviction and sentence. His lawyers argued that the jurors in the federal case were influenced by Keating's conviction at the state court level. After several years of appeals, UJ.S. District Judge Mariana R. Pfaelzer disagreed with Keating's attorneys but still overturned the conviction, citing a presumption of prejudice and finding that the law compelled her to grant Keating's motion for a new trial. By this time, Keating had already spent nearly 50 months in a federal prison.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1989 to 1994Charles Keating Trials: 1991-99 - Acc Buys Lincoln Savings And Loan, Litigation Abounds, Keating Draws Maximum Sentence, Keating Loses In Civil Court, Too