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News > Newsmakers

No business behind bars for Martha
Report: Prison officials on guard to make sure Stewart doesn't conduct business during 5-month term.
October 7, 2004: 11:48 AM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Prison officials will be monitoring carefully to make sure future inmate Martha Stewart isn't trying to conduct business when she has visitors, according to a published report.

Officials at Alderson Federal Prison Camp will be watching to make sure Martha Stewart doesn't conduct business during her five month sentence there.  
Officials at Alderson Federal Prison Camp will be watching to make sure Martha Stewart doesn't conduct business during her five month sentence there.

The New York Daily News reported Thursday that officials at Alderson Federal Prison Camp, where Stewart is set to begin serving a five-month sentence sometime before 2 p.m. Friday, monitor all mail and phone conversations to make sure that prisoners don't violate rules about conducting business while in prison.

Traci Billingsley, a Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman, conceded that it is more difficult to tell if a prisoner is conducting business with visitors, although she told the paper that prison officials have "other intelligence mechanisms in place to see if business is being conducted."

An inmate who violates the rule against doing business while behind bars, is subject to such discipline as loss of phone privileges or restrictions on commissary purchases, according to the report.

Stewart gave up her titles of chairman and CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omimedia (MSO: Research, Estimates) following her conviction on federal obstruction of justice charges. But she is still the majority shareholder for the company and she retains the title chief editorial and media director, even though she will be prohibited from conducting business while serving her sentence.

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Now that Martha Stewart is about to begin her 5-month term, what becomes of her company? CNNfn's Allan Chernoff reports.

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The Daily News reported that company CEO Sharon Patrick and Susan Magrino, Stewart's longtime public relations adviser, are among those who plan to visit her in the West Virginia minimum security prison during her stay there. Alderson's regular visiting hours on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays.

Following her five-month stay in Alderson, Stewart's sentence calls for five months of house arrest. The prohibitions on conducting business are lifted once she's on house arrest.  Top of page

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