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Ex-Junk Bond Whiz Asks Judge for Leniency

November 14, 1990

NEW YORK (AP) _ Michael Milken, in a letter to the judge who will sentence him, acknowledged his crimes and pleaded for the opportunity to rebuild his life - though not on Wall Street.

″My priorities today are different,″ Milken said in the 11-page letter to U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood. ″It’s hard for me to conceive of ever having the desire to enter into a commercial transaction again.″

The former head of the high-yield junk bond division of Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc. said he wrote the letter because he would be unable emotionally to speak at his sentencing for securities offenses.

The letter was the first time Milken publicly described his feelings during the government’s four-year investigation of his activities at Drexel.

″I allowed myself to get too caught up in what I was doing to consider the consequences or to stop myself from doing what I knew was wrong. For that I am truly sorry and ashamed,″ Milken said. ″I did break our nation’s laws.″

His letter, dated Nov. 5, was filed in court Tuesday after portions were deleted to protect the privacy of Milken’s children.

Milken, who pleaded guilty to six felony counts earlier this year, faces up to 28 years in prison. A date for his sentencing has not been set, but it is expected to take place later this week or early next week.

While Milken did not specifically ask to be spared a prison sentence, he spoke of his fear of incarceration and his desire to continue working with disadvantaged children.

″Let me return to a life of anonymity if humanly possible for myself and my family,″ he said. ″I think I can accomplish more by blending back into society and quietly seeing what I can do.″

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