In a flood of clemency orders before he leaves office, President Obama commuted the sentences of 209 people and pardoned 64 others on Tuesday. The vast majority of offenders had been convicted of drug-related crimes. Two were involved in cases about leaks of government material. And two were cultural stars of past decades who had run afoul of the IRS.
Ian Schrager, the co-founder of the famous nightclubs Studio 54 and the Palladium, who then created boutique hotels, spent a year in prison between 1980 and 1981 and paid a $20,000 fine for tax evasion. His business partner, Steve Rubell, had drawn the attention of federal authorities by bragging that Studio 54 made money second only to the Mafia. The two came out of prison and eventually re-created the hotel industry by making accommodations luxurious and hip. Rubell passed away in 1989. Schrager, whose name is often associated with New York's gliteratti has said of his jail time, "I made certain mistakes and I paid for them."
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