A judge has again pushed back the sentencing hearing for a former Cornelia bank executive who pleaded guilty to using customers and family members in a multimillion-dollar fraud conspiracy.
The conspiracy led to the downfall of Cornelia-based Community Bank & Trust.
U.S. District Judge William O'Kelley said Randy Jones is scheduled to be sentenced on Thursday after a day of testimony Wednesday. Three others who have pleaded guilty to conspiring with Jones are also set to be sentenced.
Jones, 50, pleaded guilty in January to receiving kickbacks for real estate loans while he was an executive vice president at CB&T, where he worked for 30 years.
Jones accepted responsibility for his role in the fraud scheme during a daylong hearing on Wednesday.
"I want to apologize," he said during the hearing. He also wrote a letter to the judge that said "my actions are purely no one's fault but my own."
He could face about 12 to 15 years in prison.
Prosecutors recommended he receive 12 1/2 years behind bars, while his attorney Bruce Maloy asked the judge to impose a sentence of two years in prison and then a period of home confinement and probation.
A psychologist who testified on behalf of Jones said he is needed to help care for his two children.
Jones is accused of taking more than $770,000 in kickbacks for phony land deals, using the names of family members without their consent to obtain more than $800,000 in loans from the bank and approving more than $2.8 million in loans to fraudulent borrowers.
Jones resigned from the bank in July 2009. Federal investigators closed CB&T six months later. Soon after, Columbia, S.C.-based South Carolina Bank and Trust bought the institution.
The three other defendants are charged with working with Jones to defraud the bank. They could each face several years behind bars.
Joseph C. Penick Jr., 50, of Cornelia and Douglas C. Emig, 55, of Clarkesville each pleaded guilty in August to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
Additionally, Berrong Moulton, 44, of Cleveland pleaded guilty in September to the same crime.