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LAW360: Conspirator in $16M Bank Fraud Lands 6-Month Sentence

"A Florida businessman who submitted fake invoices to help a hotel owner collect $16 million from two now-defunct banks will spend six months in prison after an Illinois federal judge on Thursday rejected the government’s request for a three-year sentence.

Steve Lewis pled guilty in October 2014 to helping Atul Bisaria secure construction loans from Mutual Bank and Broadway Bank for renovations never performed on hotels in Cincinnati and Boca Raton, which were owned by Bisaria.

Though the government requested that Lewis spend between 41 and 51 months in prison for the crime, U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee said six months in a low-security federal prison was enough “to impress upon Mr. Lewis respect for the law.”

Lewis’ attorney, Leonard Ambrose, asked that Lewis only spend a day in prison but said after the hearing that he was pleased with the six-month sentence. . . . “He’ll probably do 4½ months and get out,” Ambrose told Law360. The attorney said he was also happy that Lee agreed to ask the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to let Lewis serve the sentence near his home in Palm Beach, Florida."

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