Former St. Louis HUD Director Sentenced
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A former director for the St. Louis office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for taking $38,000 in bribes to approve $1.5 million in mortgage refinancing.
Lavern Charles Hester, 58, of Florissant, Mo., was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court. He pleaded guilty in September to one count of conspiracy to provide and accept an illegal gratuity.
Federal prosecutors say Hester was responsible for approving and overseeing FHA financing of multifamily properties. He took the money in 2007 and 2008 from Donald Robinson and another person in exchange for approving $1.5 million in refinancing on the mortgage of an apartment property in Mexico, Mo.
Robinson was sentenced to six months in jail after pleading guilty to related charges.