Our feature story last week
told the tale of Don C. Weir, Jr.
, the Town & Country man who stole millions in precious-metal coins from his clients to bankroll a privileged lifestyle. He was supposed
to be sentenced this week (federal guidelines suggest six to eight years).
But now it's been postponed until September 24.
Weir's attorneys asked to push back the day of reckoning 30 days, arguing that the dozens of victims just can't agree on how to split up the restitution (if you've got, say, eleven people all claiming ownership of the same three coins, what's the fairest way to compensate everybody?)
But Mr. Weir, the lawyers argued, was in a "unique position" to help
out with this process, "because of his familiarity with the unusual
property subject to forfeiture and the markets therefor." In other
words, who better to assess the value of stuff like grapefruit-sized
gold coins and Nazi relics than the guy who bought them in the first
place? (Yeah, he was into Nazi relics, and told the authorities to go seize them
so that they might be sold to raise money for victim restitution).
In an opposition filing, the U.S. Attorney's office
made it clear they wanted to get the sentencing over with, arguing that
there was "no interplay" between how much each victim is compensated
and how many years Don Weir will have to serve.
But they did base part of their case on those who got swindled:
victims have indicated a desire to attend the sentencing hearing and
some...have stated they want to make a victim-impact statement at the
sentencing hearing. These individuals have made travel plans and are
planning to attend, a further delay would complicate their attendance."
Ultimately, Missouri Eastern District Judge Rodney Sippel
sided with Weir, and allowed a few more months for sussing out the compensation mess.