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Roger Blackwell Gets Six Years in Prison

Former Ohio State University marketing professor Roger Blackwell is headed to federal prison next month for his convictions on insider trading, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy charges. He was also ordered to pay a seven-figure fine. WOSU's Tom Borgerding was in federal district court today and files this report.

U-S District Judge James Graham sentenced the 65 year old Blackwell to six years in a federal penitentiary and fined him one-million dollars. In his comments, Judge Graham said Roger Blackwell "forever tainted his credibility," and inflicted "significant damage" to Ohio State University and to its College of Business.

Prior to sentencing, Blackwell personally asked for leniency and a chance to perform community service. Blackwell told the court, "Only God knows what I am." At times, while standing at the lectern directly in front of Judge Graham, Blackwell folded his arms and gently rocked back and forth on the balls of his feet.

But, Assistant U-S attorney Mike Morous argued in favor of lengthy prison time saying community projects should not substitute for incarceration. Marous told the court that "Sadly, in 1999, Roger Blackwell made the decision to spread information like he was a child inside a candy store."

Marous added that Blackwell used the free enterprise system to become a millionaire and then "thumbed his nose at the whole thing." After the hearing, Marous summarized his arguments for reporters.

As we said in court we think that Roger Blackwell was the one ultimately responsible for all of these crimes. He was responsible for the tipping, he was responsible as we said in court for a lot of obstruction of justice and making false statements and he was convicted of such, said Marous.

Blackwell has an estimated current net worth of nine-million dollars. His attorney, Bill Wilkinson had little to say about his client's sentence.

Well, I don't have a comment on the sentence. I can tell you, as you all know, we didn't conduct the trial for professor Blackwell. We were hired shortly after the trial. We've been working hard every day on appeal issues, I'm very happy with the issues our team has but together. There will be an appeal, said Wilkinson.

But, Judge Graham ruled that Blackwell will have to begin serving his time on January 9th even though an appeal is pending.