Thursday, May 3, 2007

Appeals Court Orders Stiffer Sentence for Day-Care Broker

Posted By on Thu, May 3, 2007 at 4:00 AM

The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered resentencing for Memphis day care broker Willie Ann Madison on her conviction of misuse of federal funds.

Madison and her husband, John Madison, operated a nonprofit agency that brokered day care funds for low-income children. They were convicted in federal court and sentenced to prison and ordered to make restitution and forfeiture of more than $1.3 million. Neither has begun serving time.

In an opinion issued Wednesday, the appeals court affirmed the convictions and 10-month sentence for John Madison. But it ordered resentencing for Willie Ann Madison based on her "abuse of trust."

She was originally sentenced to 21 months, but the new sentence will be higher because the appeals court said "enhancements" increasing her time should have been considered by the sentencing judge, U.S. District Judge Bernice Donald.

Federal judges have discretion in following sentencing guidelines but they are supposed to consider certain factors. In this case, federal prosecutors took the unusual step of publicly objecting to the sentence. The guidelines called for a sentencing range of 41-51 months.

—John Branston

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