Just a mere five years, three months and five days after the initial “visit,” the moment is nigh. One of my two $600/hour lawyers leans over to whisper “Any final questions?” as the Honorable Judge William Kuntz, owner of three graduate degrees from Harvard University, enters to render his decision on my future. I look left and answer “Yeah! Will the noose be made of silk or burlap?” Michael shakes his head. Not the answer he expected.
I know this is a beautiful day for a hanging. Based on all the precedent and history of cases like mine, I’m supposed to get probation or at worst, home confinement. But I’ve heard too many ominous warnings about my judge – and listened to him say “I take a dim view of pimping,” as he directed his gaze my way. His three Harvard degrees notwithstanding, His Honor clearly doesn’t know a pimp when he sees one. Small consolation for Dollar Bill.
We go through seemingly endless procedural stuff that matters not – as far as I’m concerned. I’ve waited over 5 years for this moment – waaay too long in my estimation. I don’t want to wait any longer.
Finally the judge gets to the point. My fine (in addition to the $4.2 million I’ve already anted up) could be as high as 100 k – or 250 k – depending on which lawyer’s reading comprehension skills you go with (I kid you not. The lawyers were reading the statutes trying to figure out what the limit was even though my plea deal maxed the fine at 100 k). The judge blesses me with the minimum – a fine of 5 k – and then mere seconds later more than makes up for it: “One year and one day.” I feel nothing.
“We’re adjourned” says the judge. My lawyers are somewhat stunned. I’m not. I had a feeling. For a second, I wanted to approach the IRS agents who lied to me at my door and hoodwinked me out of an extra $3.7 million to tell them the obvious. Ditto for the US Attorney who responded with glee when I complained about the IRS tactics “We were gonna get your money anyway!” I simply exited after saying goodbye to my lawyers and reported to pretrial where my officer asked “So how ya doin’?”
What a preposterous question. “How the fuck you think I’m doing? I just got whacked with a year and a day.” Amazing. I’m subjected to yet another piss test for a guy who’s passed every one and wasn’t charged with a drug offense. And then on the bike and back home. It may be a small consolation, but I’m proud of how I acted. My speech delivery was perfect. And no bull shit weeping and tears like with ANTHONY WEINER or that first mate from Backpage. I took it like a man.
So that’s it. My lawyer wants to file a motion of reconsideration based on the fact that the sentence was unfair. But the motion gets filed with the same judge – not a different one. What’s the point of that beyond milking me out of another ten grand? So I do 10 months and 6 days (with 15% off for good behavior) and I’ll be out in time to volunteer at a soup kitchen next Thanksgiving. And Just in case I might feel relieved, I still have the state to deal with. In a worst case scenario, I could come out of federal prison to go to a state lockup. Such a deal!
I’m reminded of the scene in Shawshank when the lead inmate locks the door to the music room and blasts the opera over the PA system as the guards bang on the door while he just sits back to enjoy the absurdity of his hollow little victory. In moments of abject despair, I know I’ll have mine. I’m a survivor. What else can I be?