3 Years for Dixie
Overs had winners, as Dixie gets the 3-year max.

Diploma Mill ringleader gets maximum sentence

Quote:Posted: July 2, 2008 11:18 AM PDT

Updated: July 2, 2008 11:37 AM PDT

Story by:

Melissa Luck / KXLY4 Executive Producer
Brian Clark / Internet Content Editor, KXLY.com

SPOKANE -- Dixie Randock, the ringleader of a Spokane based phony diploma racket, has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Three years was the maximum sentence that could have been imposed on Randock. Her husband Steve and daughter, Heidi Lorhan, were also scheduled to be sentenced later in the day.

All three pled guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud charges in March of this year.

Prosecutors say the family, along with associates, raked in more than $6 million while hawking phony diplomas for universities that don't exist. Operating out of their home in Mead and various businesses throughout the area, some 8200 bogus degrees were mailed from Spokane to customers around the world.

The diploma mill operators most notably fabricated St. Regis University, showing pictures of Winston Churchill's childhood home as the alleged campus and bribing Liberian officials for accreditation.

Numerous others were indicted and subsequently pled guilty to their involvement in the racket.
Now the streets of America are safe. Maximum sentence for minimal crime. If I called a judge an asshole, could I be in trouble? I guess I won't call him an asshole.
Who breaks a butterfly on a wheel?

(For those not alive in 1967: )
Quote:William Rees-Mogg, as editor of The Times newspaper, used the "on a wheel" version of the quotation as the heading (set in capital letters) for an editorial on 1 July 1967 about the "Redlands" court case, which had resulted in prison sentences for Rolling Stones members Keith Richards and Mick Jagger.  The editorial, highly critical of the court's decision, is thought to have contributed to the success of Jagger's and Richards' appeal against the sentences.

Quote:The Times |  July 1, 1967


MR. JAGGER has been sentenced to imprisonment for three months. He is appealing against conviction and sentence, and has been granted bail until the hearing of the appeal later in the year. In the meantime, the sentence of imprisonment is bound to be widGiy discussed by the public. And the circumstances are sufficiently unusual to warrant such discussion in the public interest.

MR. JAGGER was charged with being in possession of four tablets containing amphetamine sulphate and methyl amphetamine hydrochloride; these tablets had been bought, perfectly legally, in Italy, and brought back to this country. They are not a highly dangerous drug, or in proper dosage a dangerous drug at all. They are of the benzedrine type and the Italian manufacturers recommend them both as a stimulant and as a remedy for travel sickness.

In Britain it is an offence to possess these drugs without a doctor's prescription. MR JAGGER'S doctor says that he knew and had authorized their use, but he did not give a prescription for them as indeed they had already been purchased. His evidence was not chal- lenged. This was therefore an offence of a technical character, which before this case drew the point to public attention any honest man might have been liable to commit. If after his visit to the POPE the ARCHIBISHOP of CANTERBURY had bought proprietary airsickness pills on Rome airport, and imported the unused tablets into Britain on his return, he would have risked committing pre- cisely the same offence. No cne who has ever travelled and bought proprietary drugs abroad can be sure that he has not broken the law.

JUDGE BLOCK directed the jury that the approval of a doctor was not a defence in law to the charge of possessing drugs without a prescription, and the jury convicted. MR. JAGGER was not charged with complicity in any other drug offence that occurred in the same house. They were separate cases, and no evidence was produced to suggest that he knew that MR. FRASER had heroin tablets or that the vanishing MR. SNEIDERMANN had cannabis resin. It is indeed no offence to be in the same building or the same company as people possessing or even using drugs, nor could it reasonably be made an offence. 'l'he drugs which MR. JAGGER had in his possession must therefore be treated on their nwn, as a separate issue from the other drugs that other people may have had in their possession at the same time. It may be difficult for lay opiniion to make this distinction clearly, but obviously justice cannot be done if one man is to be punished for a purely contingent association with someone else's offence.

We have, therefore, a conviction against MR. JAGGER purely on the ground that he possessed four Italian pep pills, quite legally bought but not legally imported without a prescription. Four is not a large number.  This is not the quantity which a pusher of drugs would have on him, nor even the quantity one would expect in an addict. In any case MR. JAGGER'S career is obviously one that does involve great personal strain and exhaustion; his doctor says that he approved the occasional use of these drugs, and it seems likely that similar drugs would have been prescribed if there was a need for them. Millions of similar drugs are prescribed in Britain every year, and for a variety of conditions.

One has to ask, therefore, how it is that this technical offence, divorced as it must be from other people's offences, was thought to deserve the penalty of imprisonment. In the courts at large it is most uncommon for imprisonment to be imposed on first offenders where the drugs are not major drugs of addiction and there is no question of drug traffic. The normal penalty is probation, and the purpose of probation is to encourage the offender to develop his career and to avoid the drug risks in the future. It is surprising therefore that JUDGE BLOCK should have decided to sentence MR. JAGGER to imprisonment, and particularly surprising as MR. JAGGER'S is about as mild a drug case as can ever have been brought before the Courts.

It would be wrong to speculate on the JUDGE's reasons, which we do not know. It is, however, possible to consider the public reaction. There are many people who take a primitive view of the matter, what one might call a pre-legal view of the matter. They consider that MR. JAGGER has "got what was coming to to him ". They resent the anarchic quality of the Rolling Stones' performances, dislike their songs, dislike their influence on teenagers and broadly suspect them of decadence, a word used by MISS MONICA FURLONG in the Daily Mail.

As a sociological concern this may be reasonable enough, and at an emotional level it is very understandable, but it has nothing at all to do with the case. One has to ask a different question: has MR. JAGGER received the same treatment as he would have received if he had not been a famous figure, with all the criticism and resentment his celebrity has aroused? If a promising undergraduate had come back from a summer visit to Italy with four pep pills in his pocket would it have been thought right to ruin his career by sending him to prison for three months? Would it also have been thought necessary to display him handcuffed to the public?

There are cases in which a single figure becomes the focus for public concern about some aspect of public morality. The Stephen Ward case, with its dubious evidence and questionable verdict, was one of them, and that verdict killed STEPHEN WARD. There are elements of the same emotions in the reactions to this case. If we are going to make any case a symbol of the conflict between the sound tradi- tional values of Britain and the new hedonism, then we must be sure that the sound traditional values include those of tolerance and equity. It should be the particular quality of British justice to ensure that MR. JAGGER is treated exactly the same as anyone else, no better and no worse. There must remain a suspicion in this case that MR. JAGGER received a more severe sentence than would have been thought proper for any purely anonymous young man.
Ben Johnson Wrote: I guess I won't call him an asshole.

I guess I will.

[Image: board_lonny_suko.jpg]
Judge Loony R. Suko
No wonder.  Suko and his wife Marcia are check-writing higher education cartel shills.  Dixie never had a chance.

Quote:College Success Foundation
Board of Directors

Lonny R. Suko is a U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Washington, having been appointed to that position in 2003. He served as a U.S. Magistrate Judge from 1995 until being named to his current office.

Judge Suko was on the original Board of Directors of a non-profit corporation which established housing for low-income elderly in central Washington. Current activities include membership in the Advisory Council of the College of Liberal Arts at Washington State University. He also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for the WSU Foundation.

Judge Suko received his baccalaureate degree from Washington State University. He subsequently earned his J.D. from the University of Idaho. Upon graduation from law school, he served a clerkship with the Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court in Spokane, Washington.

Prior to going on the bench, Judge Suko was a partner with the Lyon law firm in Yakima, Washington. In addition to handling litigation and legal affairs for individuals and businesses, his practice included representation of numerous school districts in central and eastern Washington. His wife Marcia is also very active in the community.

President’s Associates
($1,000 to $2,499)
Janice Miller
Lonny & Marcia Suko

Quote:College of Education Alumni Association Board of Trustees

Marcia Suko
5001 Richey Road
Yakima, WA 98908
H 509-966-1149

None of what we have accomplished at the College Success Foundation would be possible without the generous support of our benefactors, who have shared our vision of lowering the barriers to education for deserving young men and women in our community. To each of them we owe a great debt of gratitude – thank you for believing in us; thank you for believing in our scholars; thank you for helping change the college and career opportunities of our youth. The donor list is cumulative, showing all donations from the Foundation’s inception in 2000.
$10,000 to $49,999
Lonny and Marcia Suko
Was the judge a ringer or did he come up in the rotation? I'm curious how a competitor of Dixie gets to stand in judgement of her. Shouldn't he have recused himself?
Diploma mill ringleader gets 3 years

Quote:Diploma mill ringleader gets 3 years
Bill Morlin
Staff writer
July 2, 2008

Dixie Ellen Randock, a high-school dropout who became the "mastermind" of a Spokane-based operation to sell fraudulent college degrees around the world, was sentenced to three years in federal prison today at a hearing in U.S. District Court.

Judge Lonny Suko said the sentence was appropriate, given the seriousness and degree of fraud.

Her attorney urged the court to allow Randock to serve her sentence at home.

The judge also ordered Randock to complete three years of supervised release when she gets out of prison and submit to strict monitoring of her business and computer activities by federal probation officers. Suko said he would allow Randock to self-report to federal prison once the facility is designated by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

Federal prosecutor George Jacobs urged the court to impose the three-year sentence. He said the fraud scheme she promoted involved the sale of more than 10,000 high school and college degrees and transcripts to purchasers in 131 countries.

Between 1999 and 2005, her operation made $7.4 million by selling degrees from her operation, initally based in Mead and later moved to North Idaho.

Some of the foreign purchasers could have used the phony degrees to get enhanced status to gain entry into the United States – posing what prosecutors called serious homeland security issues.

Randock's husband, Steve, and two other defendants, Heidi Lorhan and Roberta Markishtum, are to be sentenced later today.
Ben Johnson Wrote:I'm curious how a competitor of Dixie gets to stand in judgement of her.  Shouldn't he have recused himself?

Good point, Ben.  It would be like the government suing Apple for fraud for making non-compatible PCs and having Bill Gates as the judge.  

I believe the rule is that normally you can't appeal a plea bargain sentence.  But I think you can attack the judgment as void, such as one entered through undisclosed judicial bias.  Did the judge disclose he was an advisor and trustee of a competing business?  Not likely.  He probably sees himself as a philanthropist and mighty do-gooder.  Will the socialists on the 9th Circuit see it any differently?
Isn't part of a guilty plea a joint sentencing presentation by the prosecution and defence? Shoudn't the sentence already have been agreed upon? Isn't that the way you convince people to plead guilty?
Ben Johnson Wrote:Isn't part of a guilty plea a joint sentencing presentation by the prosecution and defence?  Shoudn't the sentence already have been agreed upon?  Isn't that the way you convince people to plead guilty?

I'm told there is a presentence report prepared by the Office of Probation, although this seems to just parrot the prosecution's party line.  Objections can be filed by the defendant.  

In this case Dixie apparently stipulated in the plea agreement to serve a 3 year sentence.  But the sentencing guidelines allow a request for alternative confinement such as home detention.  

There apparently were quite a few objections filed to the presentence report here.  These included objections to the use in the report of newspaper articles and laws passed ex post facto.

Not known yet how the judge ruled on any of that, but I suppose he could have granted all the objections and still sent her away for three years.  Obviously the judge has little incentive to cut you slack when you already agreed to the time.

.pdf   JointObjPSR.pdf (Size: 814.64 KB / Downloads: 12)

.pdf   BreenDecPSR.pdf (Size: 228.18 KB / Downloads: 11)

.pdf   FurtherObjPSR.pdf (Size: 260.27 KB / Downloads: 7)

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