Quoted from jamesmc:
"I had a great attorney and got a slap on the wrist". Translated in federal speak. I got a 5K-1 deal and I'm a rat. There has to be a reason for a downward departure in the sentencing guidelines.
Federal sentencing guidelines for a $25 million fraud/embezzlement is level 22. $50 million is level 24. Now you add upwards for things like having over 250 victims, 6 levels. So this crime is either level 28 or 30. Level 30 is 97 to 121 months with 0 to 1 convictions. Now, how about that money laundering? Oh, and the mail fraud. These crimes probably won't reach as high a level. But if you don't plea guilty for everything for a 2 level reduction, they can easily add up another 10 years for the money laundering and mail fraud. And tell you that the judge hates defendants who steal from the elderly and will sentence you consecutively. So take the 8, 9, 10? or do 20 and still have state exposure for more time, and now have the IRS hound you. As well as the federal judge fining you. They apply immense pressure. Hence a 99.6% conviction rate. Anyone that says that got a great attorney or any other story doesn't realize how the federal system works.
There are No slaps on the wrists unless you've provided substantial assistance or knowledge of other crimes that help them.
Once the prison warden sees the benefit of quad or octo license plate manufacturing, time in the pokey will likely be reduced.