Coughlin spared prison | Arkansas Blog

Friday, August 11, 2006

Coughlin spared prison

Posted By on Fri, Aug 11, 2006 at 2:22 PM

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A U.S. District Court judge in Ft. Smith today sentenced former Wal-Mart executive Tom Coughlin to 27 months of home detention because he is too "fragile" to serve time in prison.

In the hearing in U.S. District Court in Fort Smith, Arkansas, [Dr. Joel] Carver said Coughlin's health was "fragile" -- calling him 57 going on 87 -- and a prison term would pose a grave risk.

Coughlin, who joined Wal-Mart in 1978 and worked closely with legendary founder Sam Walton, faced up to 28 years in prison and $1.35 million in fines after he pleaded guilty in January to wire fraud and tax evasion.

Wal-Mart had accused Coughlin of misappropriating as much as $500,000 through misuse of gift cards and bogus invoices, and said he used the money to buy an odd assortment of items including customized dog kennels and a Celine Dion CD.

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