Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Monday, April 23, 2007

Livesay: Probation unreasonable for key HealthSouth fraud participant

In U.S. v. Livesay, No. 06-11303 (April 19, 2007), the Court reversed as unreasonable a sentence of probation on a defendant convicted of involvement in HealthSouth’s "$1.4 billion dollar securities fraud."
The Court found that the district court’s § 5K1.1 downward departure was excessive. The advisory guidelines range was 78-97 months. Livesay was a "key" participant in the offense. Citing U.S. v. Martin, 455 F.3d 1227 (11th Cir. 2006), in which it also reversed a low sentence for another important participant in the HealthSouth fraud, the Court noted that valuable cooperation "is not a get-out-of-jail free card." Livesay, moreover, did not withdraw from the conspiracy until after it was discovered. A probation sentence fails to deter other white collar criminals. Although Livesay was below Martin in the HealthSouth hierarchy, he still has "power." Further, Livesay personally profited from the fraud for several years.