Former Clinton pal, Palm Beach attorney, convicted felon dies

Arnold Paul Prosperi, left, with former attorney Richard Lubin in 1996

Arnold Paul Prosperi, left, with former attorney Richard Lubin in 1996

Former Palm Beach society lawyer Arnold Paul Prosperi, whose five-year prison sentence for fraud was commuted to three years of house arrest by college pal and former President Bill Clinton, passed away March 5, according to an obituary published May 7 in the Palm Beach Daily News.

Prosperi was a well known figure on Palm Beach who supported various charities, especially the arts. He was a past president of the Norton Museum of Art.

In 1997, Prosperi was convicted of fraud, filing false tax returns and forging securities to hide his multimillion-dollar swindle of a client.

Prospieri was a friend of Clinton when they attended college at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., during the 1960s. In 1995, Prosperi organized a campaign fundraiser for Clinton on Palm Beach.

In January 2001, Clinton commuted Prosperi’s prison sentence, reducing the sentence to house arrest. Clinton commuted or pardoned 175 other people,as one of his last acts as president.

The pardons caused a national furor at a time. A Clinton spokeswoman said then that Clinton’s rationale generally was to grant pardon requests for first-time offenders, the old or ill.

At the time of the pardon, Prosperi was described as suffering from myasthenia gravis, an illness that cases extreme muscle weakness.

 

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