BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Tom Coughlin, the former vice chairman of Wal-Mart who was sentenced to home confinement and probation after he pleaded guilty to stealing from the company, could be sentenced to prison after all, an appeals court ruled yesterday. In a filing reviewed by SN, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that Coughlin, who was accused of stealing about $500,000 from Wal-Mart, deserved a harsher sentence. His attorneys had argued that his health problems, which include heart ailments, hypertension, obesity and gout, require that he take 13 different medications and that his life would be put at risk in prison conditions. The appeals court concluded that his health problems were not severe enough to keep him out of prison and that federal sentencing guidelines call for six months to a year of incarceration. His original sentence was five years of probation, including 27 months of home confinement.
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