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Witherspoon may get 20 years

The Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida says a maximum prison term of up to 20 years, and up to US$250,000 fine may be imposed against Mr. Stanton Witherspoon.

Mr. Witherspoon who relinquished his administrative role over a media empire he founded in Liberia following his indictment by U.S. authorities, has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

In return, the United States agrees to dismiss the remaining counts of the indictment with respect to the defendant at the time of sentencing.

The U.S says Mr. Witherspoon is aware that the sentence will be imposed by the court after considering the Federal Sentencing Guidelines and Policy Statements.

The defendant has acknowledged and understand that the court will compute an advisory sentence under the Sentencing Guidelines and that the applicable guidelines will be determined by the court relying in part on the results of a Pre-Sentence Investigation by the court’s probation office.

The court’s probation office’s investigation will commence after the guilty plea has been entered. Mr. Witherspoon, according to the plea bargaining, is also aware that, under certain circumstances, the court may depart from the advisory sentencing guideline range that it has computed and may raise or lower that advisory sentence under the Sentencing Guidelines.

Meanwhile, the United States Government has filed with the court the factual basis in support of the change of plea of defendant Witherspoon.

Authorities of the U.S. Government and defendant Witherspoon signed the instrument on Thursday, 24 August 2023.

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In January this year, U.S. prosecutors indicted Mr. Witherspoon for wire fraud, accusing him of selling false and fraudulent diplomats to nursing students seeking nursing credentials and employments.

Prosecutors said buyers used the fraudulent and false nursing credentials, transcripts and diplomats and other documents created by Witherspoon, Alfred Sellu, and Rene Benadel to obtain licensure as registered nurses in various states including Maryland and Georgia.

Referencing Siena College’s website, the U.S. authorities said it was licensed by the Florida Commission for Independent Education and the Florida Board of Nursing, and Siena offered a Practical Nursing Program and an RN to Bachelor of Science.

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