Destroyed Russian military equipment covered in snow in Kyiv, Ukraine...

Destroyed Russian military equipment covered in snow in Kyiv, Ukraine on Nov. 22.  Credit: Bloomberg/Andrew Kravchenko

’Consequences’ — is that what these are?

Two stories in Tuesday’s Newsday baffled me.

Tully Lovisa served “about a day in jail” and was sentenced to two years of probation [“No prison for mail scheme ringleader,” News, Nov. 28]. This for a ringleader of a $30 million scheme that targeted vulnerable people.

U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert’s reasoning, in part, was because he has a stable marriage and comes from a good family. Her reasoning is backward. Despite these advantages, he stole. His consequences should be more severe, not less.

The other story was about Jefferson Murphree, who had been suspended from his job as Riverhead Town building and planning departments supervisor since March due to town disciplinary charges [“Suspended official is back,” Our Towns, Nov. 28]. He had a one-month unpaid suspension followed by an eight-month paid suspension, or what some may call a paid vacation. He is coming back now with the same salary but fewer responsibilities. Boy, they really showed him.

— Joseph Costello, West Islip

A teacher violated a 15-year-old girl when he was 38 [“Probation for sex with student,” News, Nov. 28]. He used alcohol to have sex with her in his home.

State Supreme Court Justice Karen Wilutis gave him 3 years probation to ensure that his teenage daughters were not punished for the “sins of the father.” Interesting perspective.

One wonders whether his teenage daughters will, in fact, benefit from having this pedophile participate in their emotional growth. One might also wonder how much pension this sinner will receive for the rest of his life.

And another story: The mail scheme ringleader who stole $30 million from elderly people.

Not sure which categories of victims are more vulnerable here, teenage girls or elderly people. There was no information provided about how much of the $30 million he stole that he gets to keep, but a $1 million forfeiture does nothing to make his victims whole.

And, by the way, he promised to make “retribution.” One would hope that he means “restitution,” but neither is likely to happen.

— Chris Marzuk, Greenlawn

It appears crime does pay. Convicted mail scam ringleader Tully Lovisa gets a sentence of 2 years probation after spending about one day in jail. He was convicted of mail fraud, wire fraud and arrested on charges of money laundering and perjury. Most of those scammed were elderly.

He took in $30 million yet only has to forfeit $1 million. The fact that he was an alcoholic and drug user seems to have given him a free pass. Even after being sued by the Federal Trade Commission, he continued his scheme. His lawyer stated that Lovisa deserved this big break because he turned his life around. I can only imagine the harm he did to the people he scammed, and they will never get their money back. What a disgrace.

— Wendy Johnson, Centereach

A teacher admits to having sex with a 15-year-old student. And he gets no jail time, just 3 years probation? Timothy Harrison was a teacher who preyed upon children entrusted to his care. In this case, the justice system deserves a grade of “F.”

— Claire Mangelli, Babylon

Differing views on our aid to Ukraine

In 1775, when we declared our independence from Great Britain, we sent ambassadors to France to petition for money and supplies to wage a war for independence [“GOP ties border, Ukraine,” Nation, Nov. 27].

Without their aid we might not have been successful, and many of our founding fathers would have been jailed or executed for treason.

Russia systematically has been taking control of its old satellite countries by sending in Russian troops to topple democratically elected governments and arresting those opposed to them. Russia thought it could do the same to Ukraine and was surprised at Ukraine’s resistance.

Without outside assistance, Ukraine would have succumbed to the Russian forces. Russian President Vladimir Putin keeps bombing and destroying Ukraine’s cities and culture. While I’d prefer to use the money for our own country, we cannot turn our back on people fighting and dying for their freedom.

If Putin wins, the Ukrainian people likely will be put in servitude. We were once beneficiaries of another country’s benevolence. We must continue to support Ukraine.

— Roger Kaufmann, East Northport

Aid to Ukraine or any other country, for any reason, must be tempered. We, the taxpayers who pay for foreign aid, have the right, the obligation to see that our money is “well spent.”

We constantly face federal deficits with short-term deals to keep the country running. We have deteriorating infrastructure and shoddy care for most veterans. A shortfall in the Social Security fund isn’t that far away.

Yet some elected officials propose spending without balancing the budget. This can garner votes but should not be political. This is the reality facing American taxpayers. Are we not owed a return on our tax “investment”? The investment should be in our country and our own well-being.

— Michael J. Genzale, Shoreham

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