Seidel loses another attempt to have his prison term reduced Former S&L chief convicted on charges tied to thrift's collapse.

September 18, 1991|By Kelly Gilbert | Kelly Gilbert,Evening Sun Staff

Former First Maryland S&L president Julian S. Seidel, serving a 12-year federal prison term for his convictions on charges tied to the thrift's 1985 collapse, has lost another attempt to have his sentence reduced.

Judge Joseph C. Howard denied Seidel's request for a sentence reduction without a court hearing, in a two-page order filed this month in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

Seidel, who was convicted and sentenced here in 1989, already had lost bids for early parole before the federal Parole Commission and the commission's National Appeal Board. Both said he should serve his entire 12-year term because he was the most culpable offender in criminal acts that caused First Maryland investors to lose an estimated $118 million.

Seidel claimed in his sentence reduction motion that Howard, who presided over his trial and sentenced him, intended for him to serve only four years in prison, one-third of his 12-year term.

Seidel also said he is a model prisoner at the Federal Correctional Camp in Allenwood, Pa., and should be granted a reduction for humanitarian reasons associated with the ill health of his daughter.

Howard said he could reduce Seidel's sentence as a matter of judicial discretion.

But the judge said he "chose to impose a maximum sentence [in 1989] and leave a reduction, if any, to the considered experience the Parole Commission."

"This intention has not in any way been frustrated," Howard said in his denial order.

Seidel's sentence is one of the longest ever imposed on a white-collar criminal in Maryland.

Federal prosecutors here sharply opposed his reduction motion, saying that Howard should let the Parole Commission determine how long the defendant must remain imprisoned.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jefferson M. Gray called Seidel's financial conspiracy "reckless and ultimately disastrous," and said Howard had "already stated, on the [court] record, [his] view of what constituted an appropriate period of incarceration" for Seidel.

Gray also said a reduced sentence for Seidel would confirm the belief among Maryland's citizens "that the criminal justice system always affords preferential treatment to upper-class, white-collar defendants."

Seidel is due another Parole Commission hearing next year.

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