Geoff Walsh sentenced to 30 months in prison
Former Bank of Oswego employee Geoff Walsh was sentenced in U.S. District Court on Wednesday to 30 months in prison for altering bank records to conceal mortgage losses while serving as the bank's senior vice president of lending and for separate fraud charges relating to a series of condominium deals he made in 2011.
Walsh was directed to surrender himself on March 22 to begin his prison term, a delay that will accommodate a restitution hearing that is expected to be held in approximately 45 days. After the completion of his prison term, Walsh will be required to serve three years' probation.
The 30-month sentence was lower than the government's recommended sentence of 36 months, but higher than Walsh's own plea, which asked for one year of house arrest. In rejecting the defense team's proposal, Judge Michael Simon stressed that he wanted the sentencing to function as a general deterrent to white-collar crime.
"I don't believe a sentence of home detention will send that message," he said.
Simon also noted that Walsh had cooperated extensively with government prosecutors during the trial of former Bank of Oswego CEO Dan Heine and former CFO Diana Yates, who were also charged with manipulating bank records to cover up the bad loans.
Walsh pled guilty for his involvement in the bank scandal in 2015, but his sentencing was delayed until after the other trial concluded so that he could serve as a government witness. Heine and Yates were convicted in November 2017 on one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and 12 counts of falsifying bank records; they are scheduled to be sentenced on March 5.
Walsh had taken responsibility for his actions, Simon said, and therefore received a sentence in the middle of the recommended range, rather than the harsher sentence that he would have likely received if he had not cooperated.
In a statement to the court, Walsh said that he was "deeply ashamed and embarrassed" by his actions, and said he would work to repay the victims of the fraudulent loans.
"I'm doing the best I can to pick up the pieces and make it right," he said.