Former Rep. John Bowman, D-St. Louis, will find out Friday if he will be spending time behind bars.
Sentencing is scheduled Friday morning in U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri for Bowman, who pleaded guilty earlier this year to bribing a bank official in connection with a bank and credit card fraud engineered by former Bank of America Vice President Robert Conner.
As noted in the March 15 Turner Report, Bowman's attorneys filed an eight-page memorandum explaining why their client should receive probation:
Since 2000, John has dedicated himself to public service to the State of Missouri as a state representative. John has served as chairman of the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus, on the Budget Committee, and on the Special Committee on Rural Community Development. His willingness to serve his community and his state and the many contributions that he has made as a representative to his district and the State of Missouri in the more than six years that he served as a state representative are characteristics that the guidelines do not take into account, but that a sentencing court must consider in determining an appropriate sentence.
Bowman's attorneys also listed a number of reasons why Bowman was unlikely to repeat his crimes- his age (51), the fact that he is married (though the memorandum noted he is separated from his wife), and the fact that he does not use illegal drugs.
The memorandum concluded, "For the reasons discussed in this memorandum, counsel respectfully suggests a sentence of probation will best comport with this Court’s mandate to impose a sentence that is sufficient, but not greater than necessary..."
Conner, Bowman, and the others 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. Conner was sentenced in January to nine-and-a-half years in prison.