LOS ANGELES: A federal judge on Monday delayed the sentencing of former Fleishman-Hillard Los Angeles executives Douglas Dowie and John Stodder, but said he was inclined to give them both "significant" prison time.
A federal jury convicted former Fleishman LA GM Dowie and SVP of public affairs Stodder on counts of conspiracy and wire fraud last May in relation to their roles in allegedly defrauding the city's Department of Water and Power, among other agency clients. The men had been scheduled to be sentenced on Monday, January 8, but US District Judge Gary Allen Feess moved the date to January 30 to allow defense attorneys the opportunity to present additional documentation and to cross-examine FBI special agent Dane Costley regarding his methods of fraudulent-loss calculation. The defense maintains Fleishman suffered no real financial loss and that the government must more accurately prove its claims.
Feess said he was convinced that "the government more than adequately proved its case... I would have reached the same verdict if it had been tried to me."
Feess said he tentatively agreed with prosecutors' calls for five years' incarceration for Dowie, but no decision had been made. Under federal guidelines, Dowie could have been slapped with up to 240 years in prison and Stodder with up to 225 years.
Although the firm itself was never charged with a crime, Fleishman paid the city of Los Angeles almost $6 million in 2005 to settle a lawsuit concerning overbilling allegations.