HOUSTON — A federal judge Friday cut by 75% one of the longest sentences in recent U.S. business fraud prosecutions, giving a former Dynegy Inc. accountant six years instead of the 24 initially handed down.
Jamie Olis, 40, was resentenced by U.S. District Judge Sim Lake after the Supreme Court changed the effect of federal sentencing guidelines and the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Lake's original sentence.
Olis, convicted by a jury in 2003, already has served more than two years for his role in Project Alpha, a scheme intended to inflate Dynegy's cash flow by $300 million and cut its taxes by $79 million.
Two co-conspirators pleaded guilty, cooperated and received sentences of 15 months and one month.
Lake said Friday that, although the sentencing guidelines called for a harsher penalty, the circumstances of the case dictated a lighter sentence.
"Although Olis was intimately involved in the conspiracy and in planning Project Alpha, he did not have the ultimate authority at Dynegy to approve Project Alpha," the judge said. "Moreover, unlike some other recently publicized corporate fraud cases, the purpose of this conspiracy was not to defraud Dynegy or enrich Olis."
The judge further found that six years was enough to deter others from similar crimes and that Olis had led an otherwise exemplary life.