UPDATE: Kevin Lewis Sentenced to 121 Months in Federal Prison

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Friday, Dec. 9, 2011 3:48 pm  

Kevin Lewis, right, with attorney Tim Dudley, enter U.S District Court in Little Rock in August.

Kevin Lewis, the former Little Rock attorney connected to fake special improvement district bonds that cost Arkansas banks some $50 million and spelled doom for First Southern Bank of Batesville, was sentenced Friday to 121 months in federal prison.

The sentence, handed down by U.S. District Judge James S. Moody, comes four months after Lewis, 43, pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud.

The sentence is on the low end of sentencing guidelines, which called for between 121 and 151 months in prison, and it was requested by both Lewis' defense attorney, Tim Dudley of Little Rock, and the federal prosecutor, Karen Whatley. He will also spend three years under supervised release after he is released from prison.

In the courtroom Friday,

In a soft but steady voice, Lewis said he had been an only child who grew up in a loving home, and that he continues to live with his wife and children. "I never considered myself to be a greedy person," he said, but acknowledged that his actions made it look like he was.

He then apologized for his "apparent greediness and laziness," and he said he hoped to spend the rest of his life repaying the people he had hurt, financially and otherwise. Although it hasn't been made public, Lewis has written a plan for his life following prison that includes helping the less fortunate.

"I do consider myself at this point to be very blessed" with "good friends and family that love me," Lewis said.

He expressed "deep remorse" and said he couldn't believe that he had allowed himself to sink so "ethically low and morally low." 

"The only person who is responsible for this is me and me alone," he said.

Lewis' attorney also said Lewis has an alcohol problem and requested that Lewis receive treatment while in prison.

He will be ordered to pay tens of millions of dollars in restitution to the nine banks he ripped off by selling them bogus bonds or using the bonds as collateral on loans, and to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The FDIC assumed receivership of First Southern almost a year ago after it was discovered that the bank had invested some $22 million in Lewis' phony bonds. Lewis, through a trust he set up, was the majority owner of First Southern.

The exact total of the restitution was not settled on Friday because of a dispute over the total owed to Centennial Bank of Conway. 



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