Friday, January 04, 2008
Guilty plea imminent in Bowman bank, credit card fraud case
Rep. John Bowman, D-St. Louis, will change his plea to charges of bank and credit card fraud, according to documents filed today in U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
The change of plea hearing is scheduled for a week from today, Friday, Jan. 11, 10:30 a.m. before Judge Henry Edward Autrey in St. Louis. Bowman will apparently either plead guilty or no contest to the charges, or possibly plead guilty to reduced charges. No mention was made of any plea agreement in the court documents.
Bowman's trial, the last one in the case which originally had 17 defendants,was
scheduled to begin Monday, Feb. 4.
The ringleader of the scheme in which Bowman was allegedly involved, former Bank of America Vice President Robert Conner, was found guilty by a federal jury in December. Conner is free on $65,000 bond while awaiting his sentencing, which is scheduled for Feb. 20.
Conner and Bowman were indicted in January 2007 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, 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 Turner Report book can be purchased from Amazon.com.