A former managing partner at the Arthur Andersen accounting firm was ordered Tuesday to serve three months of home confinement after admitting he engaged in insider trading.
U.S. District Judge Robert Patterson praised the good deeds H. Clayton Peterson has done as he decided not to impose the yearlong prison sentence Peterson, 65, had agreed to during his guilty plea. Peterson, of Denver, was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam.
Defense attorney Steven Glaser had argued for leniency, citing Peterson's work on behalf of adopted children and efforts to help find employment for 600 Arthur Andersen employees who lost jobs when the Chicago-based company closed.
Peterson in August admitted he disclosed secrets about a pending acquisition of Mariner Energy Inc. by Apache Corp. in April 2010.
The judge said he intends to order Peterson, a former Mariner Energy board member, to pay a $400,000 fine, though he won't know for sure until lawyers submit arguments on the subject.
The judge noted Peterson's Army service and recalled his own history in the military.
"I think this country would be in better shape if everyone had some service requirement to their country," the judge said.
Peterson's lawyer said afterward that his client was grateful there was no prison time. He said the sentence "underscores that Clayton's lapse in judgment was an aberration from his otherwise exemplary life, which included a stellar professional reputation, dedicated philanthropy and admirable service to his country during the Vietnam War."
Arthur Andersen, once one of the so-called Big Five accounting firms, was found guilty of obstructing justice in 2002 for the shredding of documents related to the scandal at energy company Enron Corp., which went bankrupt. Although the conviction was later reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court, the accounting firm's reputation was damaged enough to put it out of business.