Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ex-Germania Official Pleads Guilty in Scheme Move Ends 7-Year-Old Fraud Case on Bank

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ex-Germania Official Pleads Guilty in Scheme Move Ends 7-Year-Old Fraud Case on Bank

Article excerpt

Nearly seven years after the federal government seized Germania Bank, its former chairman pleaded guilty of making a false statement to federal regulators. He will get a maximum prison sentence of one year and a day.

Federal prosecutors reached the plea bargain Tuesday with former Chairman Joe Mason and agreed to drop charges against another former Germania executive, Edward Morris.

The deals were reached after jury selection began Monday in what was to have been a lengthy trial of Mason and Morris. They remained free on bond. Morris, 54, Germania's former chief executive, already has served about a year of a 46-month sentence he got in federal court in Illinois for Germania-related crimes. Mason is to be sentenced July 11 in St. Louis by U.S. District Judge George F. Gunn Jr. Mason's sentencing and the government's dismissal of its charges against Morris at the same time will conclude the long federal prosecution of Germania executives. "This is the end," said the main prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael W. Reap. Specifically, Mason admitted making a false statement in April 1988 to the Federal Home Loan Bank. He stated falsely that no commissions would be paid on the sale of the Germania junk bonds that were at the center of the fraud case. Mason once owned Mason Homes, the St. Louis area's largest home builder, and was Germania's dominant shareholder. Morris formerly was one of St. Louis' most prominent investment bankers. A third defendant, former President Steven Gardner, pleaded guilty in February of conspiring to defraud investors who bought millions of dollars worth of the junk bonds. He had agreed to testify against Mason and Morris. As a result, prosecutors agreed to recommend that Gardner's new sentence run concurrently with the 46-month term he already is serving as a result of a conviction in federal court in East St. Louis in 1993. Gardner, 48, of Chesterfield, is a former Missouri state legislator. Morris' lawyer, Alan Cohen, said Tuesday that Gardner struck an unusual agreement with the government. Cohen said federal prosecutors agreed that Gardner would serve no extra time for the Missouri charges and agreed to seek a reduction of his Illinois sentence. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.