The Bonneville Pacific insider who some say profited the most from the infamous investment scam will have to leave his mansion on Lake Tahoe for a yearlong sojourn in federal prison.

But Carl Peterson will remain home for the coming holidays, even if his Christmas budget just took a half-million-dollar hit.A sentence handed down Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Dee Benson requires Peterson, 46, to serve one year in prison and pay $500,000 in restitution.

Peterson does not have to surrender to federal authorities until Feb. 15.

For Peterson and his attorney, the prison part of the sentence was more than they bargained for but probably was not surprising, given Benson's earlier expressions of frustration in Peterson's failure to admit wrongdoing in the Bonneville Pacific fiasco.

"We're disappointed with the judge's determination," said defense attorney Walter Bugden. He said Benson's sentence reflects the larger "public perception that everyone associated with Bonneville Pacific had guilty knowledge and engaged in criminal conduct. And that's just not true."

In July, Peterson pleaded guilty to a felony charge of failing to inform the Securities Exchange Commission of a personal stock transaction and to a misdemeanor charge that he failed to tell the SEC that he sold more than 1 million shares of his own Bonneville Pacific stock in August and December 1989. Peterson owned more than 8 percent of the company at that time.

But Peterson did not admit any personal accountability for the millions of dollars lost by investors in Bonneville Pacific, nor did he admit that he gained financially from those losses. Bankruptcy officials say Peterson walked away from the company in 1989 with $15 million in his pocket - money that Peterson says he earned lawfully and through hard work.

In exchange for his guilty plea and his cooperation with U.S. attorneys who are still prosecuting four other Bonneville Pacific insiders, the prosecutors agreed to seek only six to 12 months of home confinement - rather than prison time - and to require the $500,000 restitution to the bankruptcy trustee.

Despite that $500,000, which Peterson paid this week with a personal check, the plea agreement came under fire from bankruptcy trustee Roger Segal, who filed a brief with Benson in October.

"Allowing Peterson to spend his term of incarceration (at home) would send the wrong message," Segal wrote. "The correct message needs to be that crime doesn't pay. A convicted felon should not be able to retain approximately $15 million and then serve only a six-month home confinement in a lavish home."

In giving Peterson the year in prison, the maximum allowed under the plea arrangement, Benson apparently agreed with that argument.

Bugden, however, says the plea agreement shows that prosecutors themselves believe Peterson had a lesser role in Bonneville Pacific than other principals.

Peterson, who is one of more than two dozen defendants in the bankruptcy case, also is one of six former Bonneville Pacific figures indicted by a federal grand jury.

Another insider, John T. Dunlop, pleaded guilty two years ago and was released in September after completing 20 months of his 30-month prison sentence.

Bonneville Pacific principals David Hirschi, Raymond Hixson, L. Wynn Johnson and Robert L. Wood are scheduled for trial in September on charges of bank fraud, mail fraud, securities fraud and conspiracy.

Following the strict policy of the U.S. attorney's office, assistant U.S. attorney David Schwendimann refused to comment Tuesday on whether other indictments are pending.