Plea deal in the works for Stokes

Wednesday, August 27, 2008 at 1:11am

Barry Stokes’ creditors last night received an e-mail from the U.S. Attorney’s office inviting them to a meeting this Friday at the downtown library.

According to the letter, a copy of which was obtained by, the meeting will be an opportunity for some of Stokes’ thousands of alleged victims to discuss the possible plea agreement being worked out between federal prosecutors and Stokes’ defense.

The fallen 401(k) manager was indicted on numerous counts, including embezzlement, wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering, and was arrested in October of 2006.

The letter outlines various aspects of the deal, which calls for Stokes to plead guilty to 29 counts of embezzlement in addition to various charges including the mail and wire frauds.

He would also agree to a minimum of 35 sentencing levels that would necessitate his serving between 168 and 210 months. The prosecutors will also be able to argue for an additional two levels bringing the sentence to between 210 and 268 months – just shy of 22 years.

Among the other concessions Stokes is expected to agree to include admitting that he is liable for the restitution of about $20 million, waiving his right to all appeals and agreeing to forfeit the roughly 200 pieces of Japanese art investigators tracked down in Austin, Texas.

Should the deal falter for some reason, his trial is set to begin on Sept. 9 in Judge Robert Echols’ court.

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