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Former Tech Executive Sentenced to Prison for Lying to Grand Jury Defendant Ordered Into Custody to Begin Sentence Immediately

U.S. Attorney’s Office October 08, 2010
  • Western District of Washington (206) 553-7970

JOHN KENNETH ARNOLD, 46, of Des Moines, Washington, was sentenced today to 45 days in prison, two years of supervised release, and a $30,000 fine for lying to a federal grand jury. ARNOLD pled guilty in May 2010, of lying to the grand jury during the investigation of criminal racketeering at the Colacurcio owned strip clubs. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman told ARNOLD, “The bottom line is you lied not once, but multiple times.... When you lie to the grand jury it damages everybody else who is truthful. It calls into question everyone else who testifies....” Judge Pechman noted that she considers this a very serious crime, saying it was the first time she has sentenced someone for perjury in 23 years on the bench.

According to records filed in the case, ARNOLD, a former senior executive with Intelius, Inc., was first interviewed by the FBI in January 2009. The investigation into the Colacurcio-owned strip clubs revealed that ARNOLD had been posting reviews online of sex acts performed at the strip clubs. Despite those postings, ARNOLD denied to agents that he had been involved in any sex acts at the clubs, and further denied making the postings. When called before the grand jury in February 2009, ARNOLD again denied participating in any sex acts at the clubs, and claimed the online postings were mere fantasies. ARNOLD made these statements despite repeated warnings from agents and later from prosecutors that he was under oath and needed to answer truthfully. ARNOLD was arrested for lying to the grand jury in January 2010. Shortly after his release on bond, he violated the terms of his release by surreptitiously attempting to contact a witness in the case. ARNOLD was arrested and held for five days before being released on GPS monitoring.

In asking for a 30-day prison sentence, Assistant United States Attorney Tessa Gorman wrote to the court, “Witnesses enter courtrooms every day in this country from a diversity of backgrounds and from a variety of experiences. Many come reluctantly. However, our justice system depends upon each of these individuals—whose stories and recollections are the threads that make up the fabric of the vital decisions by judge and jury—to tell the truth. Each time a witness lies, it threatens this system. And so when a witness’ lies are revealed, it is imperative that this same system strike strong blows to underscore boldly the seriousness of the conduct.”

Judge Pechman agreed saying, “People must tell the truth for the (justice) system to be respected.” The judge went above the prosecutors’ recommendation, sentencing ARNOLD to 45 days in prison and ordering that he immediately go into custody.

The case was investigated by the FBI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Tessa Gorman and Todd Greenberg.

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