Martha Stewart Sentenced to 5 Months in Prison
She then promised, "I will be back," adding, "I'm not afraid whatsoever."
Stewart has asked to serve her prison time at a federal prison for women in Danbury, Conn., and her home confinement at her 153-acre estate in Bedford, N.Y.
The domestic entrepreneur's case has been one of the highest profile and most hotly debated white-collar crime cases ever since news broke two years ago that she was being investigated for insider trading of stock in ImClone Systems, Inc., a biotechnology company. Her supporters said she was unfairly singled out because of her celebrity and because of bias against female executives, while prosecutors said they brought the case because no one, no matter how powerful, could be allowed to interfere with a federal investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Patton Seymour echoed that view at Friday's hearing, when she urged Cedarbaum not to make a special exception, as defense lawyers had requested, to go below the minimum sentence recommended by the guidelines.
"This is a serious offense, and it has broad implications for the administration of justice," Seymour said. "The sentence should also reflect the even-handedness of our criminal justice system."
During the five-week trial, Seymour and the other prosecutors contended that Stewart unloaded 3,928 ImClone shares in December 2001 because Bacanovic's assistant, Douglas Faneuil, improperly tipped her that the company's founder, Samuel D. Waksal, was trying to dump his ImClone stock.
Bacanovic and Stewart told investigators that they had previously arranged to sell the stock if the price fell below $60, which it did on the day she sold. Faneuil initially supported their version of events but then pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and became the government's star witness. He is scheduled to be sentenced next week.
The trial focused an unflattering spotlight on Stewart, who was described by witnesses as rude to subordinates and penny-pinching to the point of trying to bill her company for her haircuts and weekend trips.
Her lawyer Robert G. Morvillo referred to the negative publicity during the hearing as he asked Cedarbaum to make an exception and grant his client probation.
"The punishment should fit the crime," he said. "Here, unlike so many white collar cases, no one has lost money, no fraud occurred. . . . [Stewart] has been scorned, ridiculed and become the butt of all forms of derogatory publicity. . . . Her assets have been substantially depleted."
© 2004 The Washington Post Company
Martha Stewart leaves Manhattan federal court Friday morning after her sentencing hearing.
(Peter Morgan - Reuters)
Details of Stewart's Sentence|
at 11:53 AM
-PRISON: Five months in a federal prison in Danbury, Conn. Stewart will be allowed to stay out of prison while she appeals her conviction.
-HOME DETENTION: Five months, following the prison term, in her home in Bedford, N.Y. She must remain in her home except for special exceptions - but those exceptions must total no more than 48 hours per week. For one day a week, she may not leave under any circumstances. Cedarbaum is considering whether Stewart must wear an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet.
-SUPERVISED RELEASE: Two years, in which Stewart must report to a probation officer.
-FINE: $30,000. Must pay immediately.
-COURT FEE: $400. Must pay immediately.