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Leader of fraud scheme sentenced to 309 years

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Posted: Feb 17, 2010 4:14 PM by Chris Nakamoto
Updated: Feb 17, 2010 7:31 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: Robert Thompson, Fraud, Sentenced, 309 years, longest sentence, Middle District, Federal Court, Baton Rouge, WBRZ

Update: The leader of a massive fraud scheme will spend the rest of his life in a federal prison.

Chief U.S. District Judge Ralph Tyson sentenced Robert Thompson to 309 years behind bars.

Thompson led a massive identity theft and bribery scheme. He was sentenced on numerous fraud charges in a case involving more than 60 victims. Most of the crimes occurred while Thompson was in prison for other crimes.

Thompson's attorney wasn't happy with the judge's decision.

"You heard Mr. Thompson say he was sorry," Rodney Messina said. "The judge handed out a stiff sentence."

United States Attorney David Dugas told News 2 Thompson's actions were so egregious because they happened while he was in jail.

"Three hundred and nine years," Dugas said. "As far as we can determine, that's the longest sentence that's been imposed in the history of this district."

Immediately after court proceedings began, Thompson began complaining of chest pains. Paramedics were called. After checking him out, he was allowed to come back into the courtroom.

"I thought it was interesting the defendant attempted to delay sentencing by complaining of chest pains," said Howard Bushey, one of Thompson's victims.

Thompson was ordered to pay more than $50,000 in restitution to his victims.

Prosecutors are recommending Thompson serve his time at a federal facility in Illinois. It has very tight security and limited contact with the outside world.

A decision will be made by the prison board in the next month.

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