An undoubtedly very, very sorry white-collar criminal was sentenced on Monday to complete a homework assignment for embezzling $375,000 from an institute at Webster University.
U.S. District Judge Henry Autrey ordered Deborah Pierce, the former director of the university's Confucius Institute, to write a 65-page journal within 60 days and start paying back the money. She will also have to serve probation, but her sentence did not include any jail time.
Autrey ordered Pierce to explain why she did what she did, what she learned along the way and what she learned that will assist others in not committing crimes.That should be a pretty interesting presentation, especially when those with "significant" criminal backgrounds learn Pierce will be able to avoid prison by scribbling just a little more than a page a day.
Autrey said he would read and approve it, and would show it to his gang court participants — people with “significant” criminal backgrounds that include drug offenses and violent crimes that strive to be like Pierce was, Autrey said.
“I think it’s important for those people to know about people like you,” Autrey said, as they think the only people who commit crimes are “poor, from the ’hood and black.”
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.