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September 22, 2023

A Tale of Barry Minkow’s Right to Redemption (or Lack Thereof)

You may have read that dedicated criminal Barry Minkow has once again been sentenced to prison, this time for ripping off a church to the tune of $3 million. A CHURCH. $3 MILLION. If that isn't the sign of large, brass cojones given his criminal past, I'm not sure what is.

But you see, some people believe in redemption. In particular, attorneys of the accused tend to believe in redemption more than others:

Attorney Mark Adams had argued Minkow worked to redeem himself by obtaining a doctorate degree in prison and enrolling in a drug and alcohol rehab program.

Adams also told the judge that Minkow has been a "tremendous help" to other inmates and has "lots of community support" to help him avoid future crimes and other problems when he gets out of prison.

Prosecutor Mark Pletcher said that Minkow only admitted wrongdoing because he hoped it would get him a shorter prison term.

You'll recall this is a guy who was sentenced to 25 years in prison back in 1988. He was released in 1995.

A former San Diego cop has the right idea here:

No doubt the church would still have its money, but Minkow wasn't given a life sentence the first time around. Someone would have been ripped off at some point so sure, maybe it wouldn't have been this church at this time, but clearly Minkow just can't resist his criminal ways.

Tracy Coenen — who worked with Minkow's Fraud Discovery Institute as a consultant on fraud investigations — had this to say about Minkow's chronic assholery:

"Barry always said that by the grace of God people can change. Unfortunately, he is a sociopath who will never be rehabilitated. When he gets out of prison he will continue to victimize unsuspecting people."

A 2010 profile of the Fraud Discovery Institute in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel quotes Barry as believing his questionable but apparently not illegal intent of the institute was met with understandable skepticism:

"I think people look at this and say, 'Wow, your past is your past,' " said Minkow. "You were in bed with the mob.  . . . You were in jail, you came out, you redeemed yourself, you uncover fraud."

Yeah, so much for redemption. As one LA Times commenter said: "Note to all restaurants: Don't hire Jeffrey Dahmer as a chef."

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