Judge Smith begins his opinion by saying: "Defendants-Appellants Sigmund Eriksen and Raymond Eriksen appeal their convictions stemming from their misappropriation of employee 401(k) contributions to pay their company’s operating expenses."
Which made me think: "Hmmm. I wonder what their sentences will be? Personally, I think that stealing from your employees' retirement plans is pretty darn serious. A lot more serious than other crimes; e.g., stealing a slice of pizza. I bet the ERISA criminal penalty provisions are pretty harsh. Rightly so."
So I was perhaps surprised to learn, halfway through the opinion, that they were only sentenced to two years of probation, a $20,000 fine, and 240 hours of community service.
I was perhaps even more surprised that, by the time I reached that part of the opinion, I didn't necessarily think that sentence was overly light. Certainly wasn't too harsh. But maybe not all that evil.
Check out the facts and see if you agree.