Capital Markets

Martha Stewart Goes Home

Her five months of ''home confinement'' will not be terribly confining.
Stephen TaubMarch 4, 2005

The Bureau of Prisons announced in a statement that Martha Stewart was officially released from the federal prison camp in West Virginia at 12:30 a.m. Friday. Stewart took a chartered flight home to her Bedford, New York, estate, where she arrived around 2:30 a.m. According to press reports, Stewart has 72 hours to report to New York corrections officials, who will fit Stewart with an electronic ankle bracelet that will monitor her movements.

In addition to her just-completed prison sentence, Stewart will serve two years of supervised probation, which includes five months of home confinement. She was also fined $30,000.

Stewart’s five months of “home confinement” will not be terribly confining. She will be permitted to leave her compound for 48 hours per week to go shopping, attend church, run routine errands — and gear up for two television programs. One will be a revival of her former show that featured homemaking tips; the other has been described as an “Apprentice-like” show.

And while she’s at home, Stewart can throw house parties, according to The Wall Street Journal — provided she doesn’t invite criminals.

The Domestic Diva will also draw her $900,000 salary from her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., in which she owns roughly a 60 percent stake. From a low of $5.26 in October 2002, amid fears of a total collapse of the company, the share price has risen to the mid-$30s and was rising in Friday morning trading.

“The experience of the last five months…has been life altering and life affirming,” Stewart wrote on her website. “Someday, I hope to have the chance to talk more about all that has happened, the extraordinary people I have met here and all that I have learned.”

In March 2004, a jury found Stewart guilty of one count of conspiracy, two counts of making false statements, and one count of obstruction of agency proceedings in her trial over a suspicious sale of stock in ImClone Systems Inc., according to Reuters. Her co-defendant and stockbroker, Peter Bacanovic, was found guilty on four of five counts; he was also sentenced to five months in prison and two years of supervised probation and fined $4,000.

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