Former bank president and CEO given 23-year sentence

Nov. 7, 2013 at 1:42 PM
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NORFOLK, Va., Nov. 7 (UPI) -- Edward J. Woodard Jr., the former head of the Bank of Commonwealth in Norfolk, Va., has been sentenced to 23 years in prison for bank fraud.

Woodard, 70, the former president and chief executive officer of the bank, is the seventh person sentenced for crimes connected to the bank's 2011 failure, which cost the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. $334 million, The Norfolk Virginian-Pilot reported Thursday.

Former Commonwealth Executive Vice President Stephen Fields was sentenced to 17 years in prison, and Tommy Arney, Dwight Etheridge, Eric Menden and George Hranowsky -- who received $80 million in fraudulent loans -- are serving terms between two years, three months and 14 years, the newspaper said.

Woodard's son, Troy Brandon Woodard, is serving an eight-year sentence for taking part in the conspiracy, the newspaper said.

Edward Woodard's attorney, Andrew Sacks, said the sentence for the elder Woodard was in effect a life sentence.

"This has been a catastrophe for Ed Woodard -- a total destruction of a human being and his family," said Sacks, who had asked for a 10-year sentence.

Edward Woodard, who was the bank's president for 40 years, told the court before he was sentenced, "I sincerely regret the results of some of my decisions, but every decision I made was always in the best interest of the bank."

"The court does not believe yet that you understand you committed crimes. None of us would be in this courtroom today if you had simply done the right thing," U.S. District Judge Raymond Jackson said before handing down sentence.

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