Judge sentences former banker to 23 years for fraud

CRIME
Judge sentences
ex-CEO to 23 years

Edward J. Woodard Jr., former president and chief executive of the Bank of the Commonwealth, was sentenced Wednesday to 23 years in federal prison in Norfolk on charges of conspiring to defraud the bank and related counts.

U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson told Woodard before imposing the sentence that he was arrogant and indifferent as he ran “a continuing scheme of criminal conduct” and had shown no remorse, the Virginian-Pilot reported.

“The court does not believe yet that you understand you committed crimes,” Jackson said. “None of us would be in this courtroom today if you had simply done the right thing.”

Woodard, 70, had served as the bank’s president since 1973. Wood­ard; mortgage specialist T. Brandon Woodward, his son; former vice president Stephen Fields; and developer and bank customer Dwight Etheridge were found guilty in May on charges of conspiring to defraud the bank out of $71 million before its collapse in 2011.

The executives were accused of engaging in illegal banking practices to hide overdue loans from regulators and the bank’s board of directors, masking the banks’ financial condition. It failed in September 2011 amid more than $150 million in losses.

T. Brandon Woodard is serving an eight-year prison term; Fields, 17 years; and Etheridge, four years and two months.

— Associated Press

INTERNET
Google must scrub pictures of orgy

A French court ruled Wednesday that Google must rid its search results of nine images of an orgy involving former Formula One chief Max Mosley.

Google’s associate general counsel, Daphne Keller, said the ruling amounted to asking the search giant to build a “censorship machine” and that the company would appeal.

In 2008, the now-defunct News of the World newspaper published a story alleging that Mosley participated in a sex session with prostitutes. It also posted a video on its Web site that purported to show Mosley during the session.

Mosley has acknowledged his involvement but said the British tabloid grossly violated his privacy. He has since taken legal action in several countries and won suits against the paper in British and French courts.

The court ruled that Google must purge nine images from its search results or pay $1,350 each time one appears.

— Associated Press

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