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Fraud scheme ends with probation sentence

Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 2:47 PM
Last updated 7:30 PM
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Two men who rigged a scheme to cheat Augusta Newsprint Corp. out of more than $30,000 narrowly escaped prison Friday.

U.S. District Court Senior Judge Dudley H. Bowen Jr. found that extenuating circumstances justified sentencing Eddie Quarles of McCormick, S.C., and Steven L. Freeman, of Grovetown, to five years’ probation instead of 18 months in prison, which the federal sentencing guidelines recommended. Neither man had any criminal history, and both have family support and employment.

There was also the issue of the long delay between the commission of the crime – from 2008 to February 2009 – and the conclusion of the case on Friday, Bowen said.

According to the indictment, Quarles, the owner of Quarles Pulp and Logging, and Freeman, who was a scale operator for Augusta Newsprint, worked together to cash bogus receipts for payment 50 times. They each pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud, and the remaining 48 counts were dismissed.

The judge warned both men that any misstep during the next five years will mean prison. The pair is responsible for $30,708 in restitution. Their probation includes six months of home confinement and four weekends in jail.

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justus4 12/21/12 - 06:18 pm
A complete joke! Ha!

A complete joke! Ha! "narrowly" missed prison! Again, Ha! THIS decision demonstrates an abject failure to properly prosecute established laws. This is clear legal corruption!!!

rebellious 12/21/12 - 06:34 pm
Home Confinement

Ummmm.......Good Luck getting that $30,000 restitution from 2 guys at home. I will never understand that type of sentence. Especially if the wife is there, maybe nagging the whole time. Does this constitute cruel and unusual punishment? The old saying "Better than a sharp stick in the eye" may not apply here.

rmwhitley 12/22/12 - 10:03 am

can be a tough road to hoe if you have a competent probation/parole officer. Sometimes those degrees in criminal justice, psychology and sociology are issued on-line by the "accredited" mumbo jumbo university. Dedication to the profession, by the officer, is sometimes determined by how much money they have to spend at Christmas.

soapy_725 12/22/12 - 11:59 am
Token jesture and out of my court.....

reminds of debtors prison. Catch 22. Would think the newsprint guy is now without a job. They were already stealing to make ends meet and now add more debt to their lives?

I pledge allegiance.....with liberty and justice for all. Play Ball. LOL LOL

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