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Why Did Martha Stewart Go to Prison? What Crimes Did She Get Convicted of?

Retail businesswoman, author, and TV personality Martha Helen Stewart was born in the United States on August 3, 1941. Forging her way to the top as the brains behind Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, she dabbled in many different industries before finding her own in books, television, products and the web.

She has published Martha Stewart Living magazine, which she hosted on television from 1993 to 2004 and again from 2005 to 2012 and has authored and published several best-selling books. Stewart served five months in federal prison after being convicted of criminal charges in the ImClone stock trading case in 2004.

She was freed in March 2005. Concerns that the incident would end Stewart’s media empire were unfounded, as she launched a recovery effort in 2005 and saw her business generate a profit again the following year. In 2011, Stewart was reinstated to her position as chairwoman of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, and in 2012, she was elected to the board of directors. As of 2015 the company is owned by Sequential Brands.

What Crimes Did Martha Stewart Get Convicted of?

Stewart was found guilty of stock trading charges in the ImClone case in 2004. After an experimental medicine the company was developing failed to receive FDA approval at the end of 2001, ImClone stock sank significantly.

It was later revealed that firm founder Samuel D. Waksal had told his loved ones to sell their stock since he knew the drug wouldn’t be approved. Not only did Stewart sell his shares of stock before the price decline, but so did many other executives.

Peter Bakanovic her broker had given her the heads up that the price was due to decrease. One day before the FDA decided she sold around $230,000 worth of ImClone stock.

Stewart saved herself around $45,000 by preparing ahead of time. But Bakanovic’s assistant Doug Faneuil told investigators that it would never have been discovered if she hadn’t been involved.

She faced charges of securities fraud, obstructing justice, and conspiracy. She claimed her innocence by saying she agreed with Bakanovic to sell her ImClone stock if it dropped below $60.

Despite her insistence on her innocence, Stewart was found guilty on July 16, 2004, receiving a sentence of five months in prison, five months of home confinement, and two years of probation.

When and Where Did She Go to Jail?

Stewart pleaded with the judge to let her do her time in a location near her mother in either Connecticut or Florida. Piper Kerman’s initial option was FCI Danbury, where she did her time before penning Orange is the New Black.

When and Where Did Martha Stewart Go to Jail
When and Where Did Martha Stewart Go to Jail

There were, however, apprehensions that Stewart’s incarceration at Danbury would result in a media frenzy. As Distractify points out, the judge probably also sought to punish her as a stern warning to others. Stewart was given a prison term and sent to FPC Alderson in West Virginia to fulfill her time.

In October of 2004, Stewart began serving her time behind bars. She was released from prison in March of 2005 after serving five months of her sentence.

Where is Martha Stewart at Present?

The 78-year-old immediately returned to work expanding her media empire and plotting her comeback once she was released from prison. She has numerous new cookbooks out and started her talk show and hosted an episode of “The Apprentice.”

Stewart has also collaborated with Snoop Dogg for a cookbook titled Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party and published several more volumes under her name.

“Although she was barred from acting as director for her company for five years, she continued to control 50 percent of the company’s stock and 90 percent of its voting stock,” Mashed reports.

The value of her stock increased while she was in jail, and by 2006 she was back to being a billionaire. These days, she just calls her time behind bars a “horrible legal problem.”

We’ve discussed everything you need to know to understand why Martha Stewart ended up in jail. Visit us here on Venturejolt for more news like this.

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Daniel Dale
Daniel Dale
I’m a freelance SEO editor and a freelance content writer. My strengths are in the localization of content, keyword research, and optimized web structure.

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