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Ex-Fairmont State official headed to prison

Exponent Telegram photo by Matt Harvey  David Tamm, front, accompanied by attorney Thorn Thorn, leaves the federal courthouse in Elkins after his sentencing Wednesday.
Exponent Telegram photo by Matt Harvey
David Tamm, front, accompanied by attorney Thorn Thorn, leaves the federal courthouse in Elkins after his sentencing Wednesday.

ELKINS, W.Va. — A judge sentenced a former Fairmont State University official to prison Wednesday for stealing FSU computer switches, selling them and then not reporting that income on his taxes.

In sentencing David Tamm, 45, of Parkersburg and formerly of Bridgeport, U.S. District Judge Irene M. Keeley rejected defense attorney Thorn Thorn’s arguments for a departure and a variance. Both motions seeking a lighter sentence were based on Tamm’s diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

Granting either — they were opposed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Cogar — would have reduced former FSU chief information officer Tamm’s time behind bars. But even Thorn acknowledged his client would have faced some prison time, no matter what.

Tamm remains free on bond, to report June 16 to whatever facility the Bureau of Prisons designates to begin serving his term of 46 months. After he gets out of prison, he will spend three years on supervised release, and possibly the rest of his life paying the restitution of $1.32 million to FSU and about $225,00 to the IRS.

Proceeds from the government sale of Tamm’s home on Rosewood Court in Bridgeport may be used to reduce restitution. That amounted to about $75,400 of equity that Tamm had in the home, according to Cogar. Keeley said Fairmont State is to have priority on restitution.

Additionally, the government sale of other items, such as cars bought by Tamm via his criminal activities, also will be sold, and that money too might be credited toward restitution.

In denying defense bids to lower the potential sentence, Keeley said Cogar had a good point: It wasn’t clear how relevant Tamm’s bipolar disorder was to his scheme.

Tamm’s actions cause serious harm to Fairmont State, West Virginia and the United States, Keeley added.

“It will be a very long time, if ever, before the restitution is paid back,” Keeley said.

Keeley did tell Tamm that she appreciated his “heartfelt remarks” during Wednesday’s hearing…

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