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Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Michelle Peterson
Ah, Christmas in Rhode Island. Exquisitely decorated mansions in Newport. A red nose on the giant termite that sits atop a Providence exterminator's building. And a traffic cop doing disco and salsa moves in the middle of rush-hour traffic.
A 46-year-old woman linked to former council member Harry Thomas Jr.'s scheme to steal public funds pleaded guilty on Friday to failing to report income on her tax return in 2010, including a "fee" she obtained for surreptitiously redirecting more than $100,000 in grant funds to cover the costs of an inaugural ball in January 2009.
Telecommunications executive Walter C. Anderson, called the biggest tax cheat in U.S. history by the Justice Department, would have to pay the D.C. government more than $40 million in restitution under a recent request by federal prosecutors in preparation for his upcoming sentencing.
Calling Anderson "a private and unassuming man," Miss Peterson said her client has been punished more harshly than defendants convicted of similar crimes because of "abhorrent conditions" at the D.C. Jail.
She argued that most defendants charged in business crimes, such as former Enron executives Andrew Fastow, Jeffrey Skilling and Kenneth Lay, were released on bond pending trial.