Government argues about the guidelines: The amount here is $4m+, not zero or $40,000

The presentence report (prepared by the probation service) took the position that the amount involved in this case was $5M+, the amount of Johnny Jones’s suit. Both Backstrom and Dickie Scruggs have taken the position that the amount can’t be that, because the bribe was to send the case to arbitration.

The government just weighed in. They agree that $5m+ is wrong, because Jones would get something from the case either way. They argue that the amount should be the difference between what Scruggs was willing to pay pre-lawsuit ($1m+) and the amount Jones sought ($5m+) because this was the amount Scruggs knew they were fighting over and the amount Scruggs was trying to avoid paying.