NEW YORK -- Michael Milken, who built a financial empire on high-risk bonds, asked to do penance for his multiple confessed crimes by working on the risky streets of Los Angeles with the city's Police Department.
"Michael would not find this work easy, nor would it be risk-free," stated a sentencing memorandum that was submitted to U.S. District Court and released yesterday.
Milken, who will be sentenced Monday, faces up to 28 years in prison for securities-related crimes.
The financier, who shuns all stimulants including coffee, hopes to combat "the problems of drugs, crime, unemployment and illiteracy," the memorandum said.
The submission on behalf of Milken was released by his lawyers in part to offset a similar memorandum by prosecutors that was to have been made publicly available yesterday but was withheld at the last moment.
Rebuttals included in Milken's submissions suggest that in their memo, prosecutors will accuse him of myriad other crimes -- including bribery, destruction of documents and dubious transactions involving Republic Airlines and Western Union -- in addition to the six included in the plea agreement reached in April. Moreover, it appears that the government will question Milken's cooperation.
The hundreds of pages of documents submitted on Milken's behalf characterize him as brilliant and charitable, traits that purportedly were evidenced as early as the first grade, when he received top marks and tutored others after class, and continued throughout his career, in which the documents say loyalty led to his downfall.
"Although inexcusable, Michael's offenses were neither venal nor motivated by greed," his sentencing memorandum said. "Michael Milken erred in failing to recognize that fidelity to the securities laws must be placed above service to his clients."
The submission also said that Milken's much-publicized compensation from Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc. in 1984-1988, which during one year alone exceeded $500 million, had been sucked dry through taxes ($750 million) and penalties ($600 million).