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Ex-Treasury Secretary Receives Month in Jail : Anderson's Sentence Includes 5-Month House Arrest for Tax Evasion, Banking Illegalities

June 26, 1987|DEBRA WHITEFIELD | Times Staff Writer

NEW YORK — Former Treasury Secretary Robert B. Anderson was sentenced Thursday to a month in prison and five months under house arrest for evading taxes and running an illegal offshore bank that cost investors $4.4 million when it failed.

The 77-year-old Anderson, who pleaded guilty to the charges March 27, was also ordered by U.S. District Judge Edmund Palmieri to undergo treatment for alcoholism, pay $127,000 in back taxes and try to repay investors.

Anderson, Treasury secretary under President Dwight D. Eisenhower, was the picture of a broken man Thursday. Stooped and shaky, he shambled to the front of the courtroom and in a quavering 1987012963country's trust and for coming "to this final chapter in the twilight of my life. I can only express my deepest feeling of remorse, shame, sorrow and humiliation," he told the judge, who pronounced his own task "difficult and painful."

While recognizing that Anderson's conduct "was influenced" by frequent bouts with alcoholism and his wife's long fight with Alzheimer's disease, the judge said he ultimately decided that "you have committed a serious disservice to the tax-paying and law-abiding community . . . and, unfortunately, your record of distinguished service is now sullied."

Anderson, whose wife died recently, has been hospitalized for alcoholism 10 times since 1981, most recently in February. For those reasons, said his attorney, Arthur Christy, "I'm not sure he was playing with a full deck."

Dozens of prominent public figures had sent letters on Anderson's behalf, among them Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Tex.), Lady Bird Johnson, House Majority Leader Jim Wright, former U.S. Atty. Gen. Elliot L. Richardson and John Eisenhower, the former President's son.

He is expected to serve his jail time in one of two low-security prisons: Allenwood, Pa., or Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

Probation officers will determine how to handle his house arrest.

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