President Donald Trump granted some form of clemency to 143 people on his last night in office, including a New York State man who pulled off one of the biggest insurance frauds in history.
Sholam Weiss helped destroy the National Heritage Life Insurance Co. in a $450 million fraud scheme carried out in the 1990s. He was convicted of racketeering, wire fraud, money laundering, and obstruction of justice. Investigators estimate that the fraud cost about 25,000 customers their life savings.
Weiss received what the Justice Department has said is likely the longest term ever imposed for a white-collar crime. By comparison, Bernie Madoff is serving 150 years in prison for his fraud scheme.
While the jury was deliberating his case, Weiss fled the country and was a fugitive for one year. He was subsequently located by law enforcement living in Austria and extradited back to the United States in 2002.
Weiss, 66, paid $125 million in restitution and has served 18 years in federal prison. He reportedly suffers from chronic health conditions.
His commutation was supported by former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese, former Solicitors General Ken Starr and Seth Waxman, former United States Representative Bob Barr, numerous members of the New York legislature, notable legal figures such as Professor Alan Dershowitz and Jay Sekulow, former U.S. Attorney Brett Tolman, and various other former elected officials, the Associated Press reported.
Trump’s last-minute clemency decisions, announced after midnight on Wednesday, follows separate waves of pardons over the past month.
Source: Google | Insurance News