Two brothers facing 30 years to life under federal sentencing guidelines for their roles in a securities fraud scheme received five-year sentences yesterday from a jujdge who criticized the guidelines’ “fetish with absolute arithmetic,” reports the New York Law Journal. Judge Frederic Block in New York City complained that the advisory guidelines call for virtual lifetime imprisonment in any securities fraud case against a corporation officer. The guidelines should not be “a black stain on common sense,” Block said
Defendants Lennox Parris, 38, and Lester Parris, 35, served as co-directors of Queench Inc., a Jericho, N.Y.-based company whose primary projects included bottled water marketed to minorities. “[T]he nature of their crimes — while clearly deserving of the punishment which I have meted out — is simply not of the same character and magnitude as the securities-fraud prosecutions of those who have been responsible for wreaking unimaginable losses on major corporations and, in particular, on their companies’ employees and stockholders, many of whom lost their pensions and were financially ruined,” Block wrote.