January 30, 2007
If You Thought Fastow Got a Deal -- Here's Cosmo Corigliano
Posted by Christine Hurt

Although I've read this only through one source, it appears that Cosmo Corigliano, the former CFO of Cendant Corp., who testified against Walter Forbes, the former CEO and Kirk Shelton, was sentenced to three years' probation this morning.  Corigliano seems to have been the Fastow of the Cendant scandal, orchestrating, supervising and maintaining an ongoing financial fraud.  Forbes was tried three times for his role in the fraud, being convicted after two hung juries on one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and two counts of making false statements to the FBI.  Forbes was sentenced to twelve years, seven months in prison.  Shelton was convicted in his first trial and sentenced to ten years in prison.

My crim law professor, Michael Tigar, used to say of defendants "A Snitch in Time Saves Mine," and he must have been speaking of Mr. Corigliano.  Although SEC press releases report that Corigliano forfeited all of his assets to the tune of $14 million, with some exceptions, news reports have totalled his exempted assets at about $5 million.  Two other testifying witnesses, the comptroller and an accountant, were also sentenced to two years' probation yesterday.  I have not been following these trials closely enough to judge the relative guilty hearts of Forbes, Shelton and Corigliano, but Corigliano seems to have been right in the middle of the fraud, which is why he was so invaluable in the investigation (as noted by the prosecutor and the judge).  If he had been less responsible for the fraud and less guilty, he would probably be in jail now.

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