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Galanis Associate Gets 20-Year Prison Term

Associated Press

A former Connecticut bank president, convicted of federal racketeering and bribe-related charges for his part in the multimillion-dollar fraud schemes of John Peter Galanis, was sentenced to 20 years in prison Tuesday.

“I think you’re dangerous,” U.S. District Judge Charles L. Brieant told Anthony J. Marchese before sentencing him to 15 years for racketeering and an additional five years for crossing state lines to commit bribery.

Marchese, 48, of Southport, Conn., could have been sentenced to a maximum 55 years in prison and $530,000 in fines.

Brieant ruled that Marchese, who was defended by a court-appointed lawyer, had no capability to pay fines or make restitution.

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A federal court jury in White Plains, N.Y., had convicted Marchese and Galanis, 45, of Del Mar and formerly of Greenwich, Conn., on July 5 of participating in a racketeering enterprise that looted banks, fleeced investors and defrauded the government of taxes.

Prosecutors contended Galanis masterminded a phony oil- and gas-drilling tax shelter scheme that netted more than $172 million in fraudulent tax writeoffs for about 2,500 investors.

Galanis Sentencing Sept. 28

Brieant is to sentence Galanis, who faces a maximum penalty of 207 years in prison and $8 million in fines, on Sept. 28 in White Plains.

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The so-called Galanis organization also left a Rockland County, N.Y., bank insolvent, fraudulently took over a Westport, Conn., bank, forced Utah banking officials to take over another financial institution in Salt Lake City and stole $3.9 million from three California mutual funds.

Marchese was acquitted of involvement in the oil and gas shelter scheme but was convicted of helping to bribe officials of the Peoples National Bank of Rockland County in Monsey, N.Y., and defraud Utah bank officials. He was not charged in the other fraud schemes.

Evidence at the three-month trial showed that Marchese paid $240,000 in bribes to Peoples National Bank’s chairman and another $12,000 to its senior vice president to get the bank to buy more than $17 million in promissory notes from Galanis-controlled entities.

‘No Remorse’

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On Sept. 13, 1985, the Rockland County bank was declared insolvent and taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Marchese, who worked at banks in New Jersey and Connecticut and was president of Metropolitan Bank & Trust in Bridgeport, Conn., in the 1970s, also helped the Galanis group take over the Utah bank.

Through the racketeering conviction, the jury found Marchese had helped make fraudulent misrepresentations to state and federal regulators to secure controlling interest in Heritage Bank & Trust of Salt Lake City and to obtain a $4.5-million cash loan.

In April, 1987, Utah’s Department of Financial Institutions had to take over Heritage.

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“As of this minute, I still don’t feel that I’ve done anything illegal other than possibly to have much too narrow a focus and concentrate only on the banking aspects,” Marchese told the judge before his sentencing in Manhattan.

As a former bank president, Marchese “was extremely valuable to the Galanis organization,” said Brieant.

The judge said Marchese had “no remorse and no understanding” of why he was convicted. “I think you’re dangerous to yourself and to others because of what you did and your lack of understanding.”


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