Saying he was thunderstruck that investors who lost millions to former Congressman George Hansen still trusted him, U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge has sentenced the Idaho Republican to four years in prison.
Hansen's business associate, John Scoresby of Idaho Falls, also received 21 months at Tuesday's sentencing in Boise.Hansen has admitted owing investors $18 million and the Bank of Commerce in Idaho Falls more than $2 million when his check-kiting scheme collapsed.
"I've never seen people who are owed hundreds of thousands of dollars, who don't know how much they are owed, who are willing to eat those losses," Lodge said. "I've never seen that kind of blind allegiance.
"The victims are offended that the court would take them as victims."
Hansen, 62, the flamboyant seven-term congressman who was ousted in 1984 after being convicted of falsifying federal financial disclosure documents, told Lodge that, had the federal government and the Idaho Department of Finance not moved in and shut down his operation two years ago, he would have been able to repay his investors the more than $18 million he has admitted owing.
Federal prosecutors asked Lodge to imprison Hansen for nine years for his conviction on 45 counts of federal bank fraud last December, according to court documents. The maximum penalty for each is 30 years in prison and millions of dollars in fines.
Hansen and Scoresby each received three years supervised parole upon release. Hansen was fined $12,500 and Scoresby $6,000. Scoresby was eastern Idaho regional chairman for the Idaho Republican Party until last year.
Even after the sentence, Hansen would not recant his charge the government bureaucracy was at the center of his problems.
Hansen had compiled a 110-page manifesto of his beliefs. He said Lodge could not have had the time to read the entire piece.
Hansen was ordered to report to federal authorities on April 14, Scoresby on April 21. Hanson said he might appeal, although he lacks the money to mount a legal challenge.
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