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The San Diego UnionTribune: Randy ‘Duke’ Cunningham Case becomes argument over sentencing

In the end, Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, a former Navy fighter pilot whose Top Gun swagger carried him to military glory and then to Congress, was left with little room to maneuver. That was the consensus among local lawyers and legal experts yesterday who analyzed Cunningham’s guilty pleas to conspiracy and tax evasion charges that toppled him from Congress and likely will send him to prison. The strength of the government’s case also means Cunningham may not have much leverage as he faces a maximum prison sentence that could be up to 10 years. “He’s admitted in open court he defrauded the United States and the people of the United States and he purposely evaded – with a criminal intent – paying taxes,” criminal defense lawyer Marc X. Carlos said.
“It will be difficult for any judge to give leniency given these facts,” he said. In a 33page plea agreement, prosecutors spelled out the case against Cunningham, who admitted to accepting $2.4 million in bribes in exchange for steering government contracts to friendly defense contractors. That Cunningham pleaded guilty before being indicted and did not challenge any of the government’s evidence against him are telling signs that prosecutors had assembled an overwhelming case, lawyers said.
“He fell on his sword,” criminal defense lawyer Michael Crowley said.

p-Navy fighter pilot pleas to conspiracy and tax evasion

About Marc X. Carlos

Marc Carlos is a partner and co-founder of Bardsley and Carlos LLP. Mr. Carlos has been practicing criminal law since 1987. He has been a member of both the Los Angeles and the San Diego County Public Defender's office where he was a senior trial deputy focusing primarily on serious felony trials. Mr. Carlos has tried over 140 jury trials and represented thousands of clients in criminal matters. He has tried a variety of complex criminal matters ranging from fraud to murder, including death penalty cases.

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