Ex-Phar-Mor Vice President Gets Home Detention
CLEVELAND (AP) _ A former vice president of discount drugstore chain Phar-Mor Inc. was sentenced Thursday to six months of home detention for his role in an alleged $1 billion fraud and embezzlement scheme.
Jeffrey Walley, 37, was also placed on probation for three years.
He pleaded guilty in February to one count of aiding and abetting bank fraud, one count of aiding and abetting wire fraud and two counts of engaging in a transaction involving illegally obtained money.
The transactions involved cashing in stock Walley knew to be overvalued and accepting a bonus based on the overstated performance of the company.
″I’m sorry for what has happened,″ Walley told U.S. District Judge Thomas D. Lambros. ″I’ve never done anything wrong in my life. You have no idea how much I regret my involvement in what happened.″
Assistant U.S. Attorney John Sammon, citing Walley’s extensive cooperation in the investigation, asked Lambros to impose a light sentence. Walley had faced a maximum of 80 years in prison and $2.5 million in fines.
Lambros called Walley’s actions ″repugnant crimes″ but said his cooperation with the government ″makes the difference in this case.″
Walley will not be required to wear an electronic monitoring device while under home detention, but can leave only for work or church, or in case of a medical emergency.
Walley declined comment after the sentencing.
″I think the judge treated him very, very fairly,″ Walley’s attorney, William Doyle, said.
Phar-Mor sought bankruptcy court protection in August after firing Walley, former Chief Financial Officer Patrick Finn and co-founder and former President Michael Monus.
Prosecutors say the three had overestimated the company’s worth then used the phony data to obtain more than $1 billion in loans and investments.
Monus, 45, was indicted on 118 counts of money laundering, four counts of wire fraud, two counts each of bank fraud, mail fraud and filing false income tax returns and one count of conspiracy. Prosecutors say he was the ringleader in the fraud.
He is accused of siphoning more than $10 million to prop up the World Basketball League, his failed minor-league basketball venture, and diverting more than $500,000 for his personal use.
If convicted on all counts, he could be sentenced to 1,431 years in prison and fined $38.25 million. Monus has said he is innocent.
Walley is expected to testify against Monus.
Finn, 34, pleaded guilty in March to two counts each of mail fraud, bank fraud and helping prepare a false income tax return, three counts of wire fraud and five counts of money laundering.
Finn faces up to 266 years in prison and $8.75 million in fines, but agreed to cooperate with investigators and testify against Monus in exchange for a lighter sentence.