Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Convicted former representative receives more lenient repayment schedule

Former Rep. John Bowman, D-St. Louis, who was placed on probation April 4 after pleading guilty to bribing a bank official, will have an easier time making his court-ordered restitution.

Judge Henry Edward Autrey signed an order Tuesday setting Bowman's payments at $350 a month, until the entire $19,874.38 is repaid. The change in the payment plan was prompted by Bowman's inability to make a $10,000 initial payment required by the court.

Bowman was placed on probation after admitting to his role in a bank and credit card fraud scheme masterminded by former Bank of America Vice President Robert Conner.

Conner, Bowman, and others involved in the scheme 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.

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