Brad Messer Commentary
8:15 a.m. Friday, Mar. 7, 2003

Law is Odd

Yesterday we were told that Dan Morales will be taken to trial.

A federal grand jury indicted the former Texas Attorney General for a ton of things-- mail fraud, conspiracy, filing a false tax return and making false statements on a loan application, plus others.

Which one of those is most serious? I would suppose the crime that has the hardest punishment. Which would you think has the worst sentence out of mail fraud, conspiracy, false tax return, and lying on a loan app?

I would pick the false tax return. That's what's been pounded into us. Cheat on your taxes, go to prison. Then maybe mail fraud next-worst, because that's federal, too.

Wrong. False tax return max sentence is 3 years and a fine. Mail fraud and conspiracy also lightweight: max for either is 5 years plus a fine. The bad bad one is making a false statement on a loan application-- up to 30 years and a $1-million fine!

So lying on a loan app is literally ten times worse than lying on a tax return. Want to tell me what's upside-down here? There couldn't be a better example of how lopsided and unfair parts of our legal system still are.

Brad Messer— commentary, KTSA.

San Antonio Express-News Mar. 7, 2003
Ex-AG Morales indicted


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