Lawyers: Convicted of Federal wire fraud, money laundering. What next?

No, it’s not me. It’s this guy, who founded a major space museum, left it a few years ago, and has just been convicted of stealing and selling artifacts belonging to the museum and NASA. (This site has a good timeline and set of links that outline the case. The original court documents are also available at PACER, of course, if you want to go that far.)

I’m a journalist covering the story and want to get some idea of what might happen from here on out.

As you will see from the news reports, he was found guilty of three counts of mail fraud, three counts of interstate transportation of stolen property, two counts of wire fraud, two counts of theft of government property, and two counts of money laundering.

Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 19. He faces up to five years in Federal prison and a $250,000 fine on each count of mail and wire fraud. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the other charges.

I spoke with the defendant’s lawyer, but he obviously didn’t want to disclose much of their strategy to me. He suggested that they may file for a new trial, notwithstandiing this verdict, and said that “there are many possible outcomes from sentencing.” I didn’t quite understand what that meant, so I asked, “Does that mean that if the sentence is light enough, he may just serve it and not appeal?” He said no, but wouldn’t go into any further details.

So if you’re a lawyer, and would care to provide me a little background about the possible outcomes from this point, here are a few of my questions. (I can’t afford to pay your usual fees, of course, or I’d have called my own lawyer.)

[li]What appeal options does he have? [/li]
[li]What would the basis for filing for a new trial be? [/li]
[li]What do you think the lawyer might have meant by his comment about sentencing?[/li]
[li]How harsh or lenient a sentence is the defendant likely to receive? By my math, the maximum penalties on all charges would add up to 95 years in Federal prison and $3 million in fines. Considering his background (pillar of the community, and AFAIK, no previous trouble with the law) what’s a reasonable expectation for the sentence? [/li]
[li]If you were his lawyer, how would you proceed? [/li]
[li]What else should I know about the situation to explain it to a general audience, many of whom are friends and colleagues of the defendant?[/li][/ol]

Any one?