United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit
Sentencing — reasonableness
Where the defendant defrauded investors of more than $70 million, a 160-month sentence is not unreasonable.
“True, many facts weigh in favor of mitigation. Banas is a first-time offender and is unlikely to recidivate. To his great credit, he admitted his guilt, took responsibility for his actions, and has worked to provide restitution to his victims. Arguably, he was less involved in planning the fraud than Blackburn. And, even if Banas was greedy and unscrupulous when he looted Canopy, at least he did not manage to loot quite as much as Blackburn did.”
“But the district judge heard and considered all of these facts. And set against them, the district judge also had to consider the extraordinarily serious nature of the underlying crime. Banas was a key player in more than $90,000,000 of theft and fraud. That fact alone could reasonably justify a significant sentence. See United States v. Vallone, 698 F.3d 416, 497-98 (7th Cir. 2012) (in sentencing defendant for tax crimes, mail fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy, the district judge could reasonably consider the $50,000,000 loss amount as a ‘significant factor’ in favor of a longer sentence).”
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Castillo, J., Kanne, J.