NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A federal judge sentenced bankrupt financier C. H. Butcher Jr. on Friday to 20 years in prison for banking practices that prosecutors say bilked thousands of people of their life savings.
Butcher, whose family once held a banking dynasty stretching across Tennessee and Kentucky, stood motionless as U.S. District Judge Thomas A. Higgins pronounced the sentence. Higgins also ordered Butcher to serve five years probation and pay a $320,000 fine.
Butcher, 49, had faced up to 25 years in prison under a plea agreement with prosecutors. He pleaded guilty to bankruptcy fraud, misapplication of bank loan funds, tax fraud and money laundering charges. Charges against Butcher's son and father were dropped under the agreement.
Later Friday in Chattanooga, Butcher received another sentence of up to 18 years and a $21,000 fine on guilty pleas to four tax fraud charges. U.S. Atty. John Gill said that prison term would run concurrently with the 20-year sentence under the plea-bargain.
Butcher's wife, Shirley, was also sentenced Friday to three years in prison on bankruptcy fraud charges. Mrs. Butcher, 50, who had sought probation, was ordered to report to prison on June 5.