James Perdigao, the gambling-law specialist who claimed to be the victim of a wide-ranging conspiracy and then admitted stealing $20 million from his former law firm, was sentenced Wednesday to more than 15 years in prison by U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon. He was also ordered to pay $23 million in restitution.
Offered an opportunity to speak, Perdigao, who was clad in an orange prison jumpsuit, said little. “I’m sorry for my conduct,” he said. “I’m very, very sorry.”
Fallon dressed Perdigao down. With a quality education, a law degree and a high-paying job at a white-shoe law firm, the judge said, Perdigao had everything going for him.
“Yet for years you stole money from your employer or your clients,” the judge said. “You let yourself down. You let your family down. You let your profession down and you let your country down. You had a lot to contribute. You didin’t.”
Perdigao, who was a partner at Adams and Reese, saw his world come crashing down in 2004, when he was fired and indicted on charges that he stole millions from the firm and stashed it in a Swiss bank account.