Mystery Pardon

There’s been a dearth of information about the one Illinoisan on the list of 14 that President Bush pardoned a couple weeks ago: Richard Micheal Culpepper.


Richard Micheal Culpepper. Of downstate Mahomet.

Seeing as how the 2000 census put Mahomet’s population at 4,877, a lot of folks down there probably know Culpepper. But I’ve come up pretty much empty.

What we do know is that Culpepper was sentenced on Jan. 15, 1988 to five years’ probation for making false statements to the government. He was also ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and $4,351.90 in restitution.

Culpepper reportedly violated 18 U.S.C. § 287. According to the Justice Department:

Under 18 U.S.C. § 287, the government must establish that the defendant:

1. made or presented a false, fictitious, or fraudulent claim to a department of the United States;

2. knew such claim was false, fictitious or fraudulent; and

3. did so with the specific intent to violate the law or with a consciousness that what he was doing was wrong.

Okay, so what was Culpepper’s crime? And why was he pardoned?

The president’s order doesn’t say, and so far neither do any press reports or anything else on Google or in newspaper archives. A researcher in the library of the Champaign News-Gazette thought Culpepper was not living in Illinois at the time of his crime; a comment on a blog said he was living in Utah. That’s as far as I’ve been able to get. Anyone with further information, please send it along.


2 responses to “Mystery Pardon

  1. divisionstreet

    Very interesting – my inquiries ended too soon last week, apparently. Still some unanswered questions – I mean, was it just his persistence that paid off? But anyway, thanks.

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