Jailed Prosecutor Avoids Longer Term for Telemarketing Scam

A federal judge has declined to lengthen the prison term of former U.S. Prosecutor John Field, who is serving a two-year term in federal prison for his part in an $80 million securities telemarketing scam.

Field, who was a federal prosecutor during the 1970s, was sentenced in July by a federal court judge in New Hampshire. He could have received an additional five years in prison from U.S. District Court Judge Katharine Hayden in Newark, NJ. However, Hayden gave Field a sentence of two years to run concurrently with the sentence handed down in July. She also waived $250,000 in fines so Field could make child support payments.

Field — who was director of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's Division of Enforcement from 1977 to 1980 — worked as an attorney for a network of “boiler room” telemarketing operations. The telemarketers sold shares in phony ventures, including cable TV stations, a wireless venture in American Samoa and a children's TV program, from 1992 to 1996.

According to the indictment, Field helped the telemarketers avoid scrutiny as well as launder money by using his attorney trust account to protect their funds from being seized.

After being pursued by federal agents in New Hampshire and New Jersey, Field was arrested in 1996 and pleaded guilty to several charges in both states. He spent three years helping the government compile evidence against his former clients, resulting in a relatively lenient sentence.

His undercover work led to the arrest of 18 fraudulent telemarketers, including Marcus Dalton, who later confessed to being the ringleader of the telemarketing network Field represented. Dalton also chose to work for the government.

Field began serving his sentence Aug. 18. He has also agreed to pay $20,000 in fines as part of his earlier sentence handed down in New Hampshire.

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