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Former Ike treasury secretary sentenced

By
WILLIAM M. REILLY

NEW YORK -- Former Treasury Secretary Robert Anderson apologized to his colleagues at his sentencing for tax evasion and bank fraud for 'this final chapter in the twilight of my life.'

Anderson, 77, was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan to one month in prison, five months' house arrest and five years' probation for evading income taxes and operating an illegal offshore bank.

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Federal Judge Edmund L. Palmieri also ordered him to pay $127,000 in taxes and make 'good faith' restitution to victims of the $4 million bank fraud.

'I can only express the deepest feeling of remorse, shame and sorrow and humiliation after having served in so many distinguished positions at having to come to this final chapter in the twilight of my life,' said Anderson, wearing spectacles and a gray pinstripe suit. 'I would like to apologize to my thousands of colleagues over the years for misuse of my name.'

Anderson served as President Eisenhower's secretary of the Treasury from 1957 to 1961. He served as secretary of the Navy, deputy secretary of defense and, after leaving government service, took on a variety of sensitive overseas diplomatic assignments for various presidents. He also advised oil companies, including Phillips Petroleum and Texaco, and sat on major corporate boards.

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Anderson pleaded guilty March 26. He could have received up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $500,000.

The government had asked for a 'substantial' prison term, charging that Anderson served as 'principal agent and representative' of an illegal bank, the Commercial Exchange Bank and Trust of Anguilla, the British West Indies, from 1983 to 1985.

The bank did business in New York without being registered to do so and was able to avoid examination and hide income through money laundering and tax shelter schemes, the government said. Depositors lost at least $4 million before the bank collapsed.

The prosecution also said some of the income Anderson did not report came from fees paid legitimately by the Unification Church of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. U.S. Attorney Rudolph Giuliani said there was no evidence of wrongdoing by the church.

Palmieri told Anderson the 'distinguished service you rendered at top levels of government and the civic honors you have received should stand as a complete refutation of the charges against you.'

But the judge said, 'You have committed a serious disservice, and the taxpaying and law-abiding community has every right to be protected from this.'

Palmieri said he was aware that Anderson had been hospitalized for alcoholism 10 times since 1981.

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Anderson's wife of 50 years, Ollie Mae, died this month of Alzheimer's disease.

Among those who sent letters petitioning Palmieri for leniency on Anderson's behalf were Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, D-Tex., retired Sen. Russell Long, D-La., President Johnson's widow, Lady Bird, President Eisenhower's son, John, and former New York City Mayor John Lindsay.

Anderson was a 1932 graduate of the University of Texas Law School, a Texas state representative, assistant attorney general and state tax commissioner.

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