In documents filed today in U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, the government said its entire credit and bank fraud case, which includes Rep. John Bowman, D-St. Louis, among its defendants, "stems from Robert Conner’s fraudulent
use of his position as a Bank of America Vice-President."
Conner is the only one of the five remaining defendants who opposes the government's request to hold separate trials for the defendants. In documents filed last week, the government said it wanted to try Conner first, later this month, and Bowman last, in January. The three other defendants would be tried together.
Initially, the government charged 17. Most of the other defendants have entered guilty pleas.
Bowman, a veteran St. Louis representative was indicted in January by a federal grand jury, which said Bowman and his co-defendants agreed to a scheme in which Conner took a bank lending program which provided money to small businesses by offering a $25,000 credit limit. Conner then arranged with the other defendants to apply for the loans, often with fictitious companies, then give Conner kickbacks ranging from $2,500 to $5,000 on each loan.
According to the indictment, Conner approved $1,213,970 in fraudulent loans.
The indictment says Bowman became involved in the scheme in January 2006 during a meeting with Conner in the Bank of America branch in Chesterfield, submitting a fraudulent credit application under the name "Bowman Consulting."
On Jan. 30, 2006, the indictment said, Bowman used a "fraudulent credit card to obtain a $4,050 cash advance at a Bank of America Plaza branch in St. Louis. From Jan. 25, 2006, to Feb. 3, 2006, Bowman used the bank VISA card to buy "things of value in excess of $1,000."