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Starr Seeks 90-Day Delay in McDougal Sentencing

November 14, 1996|Reuters

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr on Wednesday requested a 90-day delay in the sentencing of President Clinton's former partner in an Arkansas real estate transaction.

The motion, filed in federal court here, said that James B. McDougal "has met with agents of the FBI and attorneys of the independent counsel, and the process is ongoing and continuing."

McDougal was scheduled to be sentenced Monday.

McDougal, 56, was convicted on May 28 of fraud and conspiracy after a three-month trial in which it was alleged that Clinton had pressured an Arkansas businessman to loan $300,000 to a corporation owned by McDougal's wife.

Prosecutors said that the corporation was a shell and that $50,000 of the money was diverted to Whitewater, a real estate project in which the Clintons and the McDougals were partners.

Clinton has denied the allegation. Convicted with McDougal were then-Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker and McDougal's former wife, Susan.

It has been known for months that McDougal was cooperating with Starr's probe of the business and personal finances of the Clintons, presumably in hopes of obtaining a recommendation by prosecutors for a reduced sentence.

"A reasonable person could infer that the prosecutors aren't finished with him yet and haven't had a chance to determine the extent and the value of his cooperation," said Sam Perroni, a Little Rock lawyer and a former federal prosecutor.

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