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Ailing Bloch to Be Released From Prison

September 10, 1997|Associated Press

A former talk radio financial advisor who admitted swindling listeners is suffering from inoperable lung cancer and will be released from prison pending his sentencing, a federal judge ruled. Prosecutors and defense lawyers jointly made the request on behalf of Irwin H. "Sonny" Bloch, who once claimed a million listeners for his show. "It's a humanitarian gesture," U.S. District Judge Nicholas H. Politan said. He said he would impose house arrest with electronic monitoring once Bloch posts a secured $500,000 bond, which is expected this week. Bloch, 61, of Tampa, Fla., has three months to 12 months to live and just a 25% chance that chemotherapy will improve those prospects, according to medical reports filed with the court. Bloch lawyer John J. Barry predicted his client's sentence would be about 36 months to 41 months. But he said Bloch may not have to serve more time, with credit for 28 months already spent in prison. Bloch was in jail because he had fled before his arrest in the Dominican Republic in 1995. He eventually pleaded guilty to federal charges, admitting he was actually a paid pitchman for ventures he touted as good investments but knew were worthless.

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