Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Judge critical of banks, as fraudster gets 16 yrs

A man who defrauded banks of $25 million and used the same name as an American rock star to obtain credit has been jailed for 16 years.

In four years, Romeo Pacifico stole millions of dollars from 16 financial institutions to help his concreting business, repay spiralling loans and live the high life.

Almost $9 million is still missing.

At one stage, Pacifico, 43, changed his name to Richie Sambora, like the rock guitarist from the US band Bon Jovi.

In court, his head was bowed as he was jailed today for 16 years.

Judge Wayne Chivell said it was outrageous that Sambora had offended while already on bail.

He criticised him for failing to show remorse.

Sambora will be eligible for release in 10 years.

The judge said the case showed that financial institutions were willing to lend money on relatively flimsy evidence and the world's financial markets were only now coming to terms with a decade of irresponsible lending.

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