Thursday, February 21, 2008

Former Bank of America executive sentenced to 9 1/2 years in prison

Former Bank of America Vice President Robert Conner was sentenced to nine and a half years in prison Wednesday for his role in engineering the bank and credit card fraud scheme that also brought a recent guilty plea from former Rep. John Bowman, D-St. Louis.
Judge Henry E. Autrey sentenced Conner during a 50-minute session that included a fainting spell for Conner, according to an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Conner apologized and begged for mercy, denying he was a predator and faulting the bank and even Post-Dispatch articles for his predicament. He also said he was a sacrificial lamb and complained that prosecutors were not pursuing banks for exorbitant interest rates.

U.S. District Judge Henry Autrey, who previously lambasted some of Conner's co-defendants for their behavior, responded with a slow, sarcastic round of applause.

"Bravo to you, Mr. Robin Hood," the judge said.

"You are a financial predator," Autrey told him, before comparing him to a vulture circling over the almost-dead financial carcasses of the cardholders, then throwing "an extra shovel of dirt in their grave."

After more than five minutes of the lecture, Conner appeared as though he wanted to interrupt, and Autrey responded, "Shut up. You lied. You stole. You eroded the trust of people in the community … who look up to people like you."

Conner then leaned to the right and slowly dropped to the floor.

After he was back on his feet, Autrey continued, sentencing him to 114 months in federal prison and ordering him to repay $1.42 million to Bank of America.

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