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Ex-Huntington bank official gets prison term

Herald-Dispatch photo by Bishop Nash Jackie Cantley, center, exits US Federal District Court with defense attorney John H. Tinney, Jr., right, after sentencing on Monday, September 15, 2014, in Huntington.
Herald-Dispatch photo by Bishop Nash
Jackie Cantley, center, exits US Federal District Court with defense attorney John H. Tinney, Jr., right, after sentencing on Monday, September 15, 2014, in Huntington.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va.  — A federal judge showed little mercy Monday in punishing the former vice president of First State Bank, describing the defendant’s million-dollar loan scheme as a “sophisticated theft” carried out for “greedy purposes.”

The judge further described himself as dissatisfied, calling Jackie Cantley’s level of remorse and explanation inadequate, and the defendant’s claim that he didn’t benefit from the $1.42-million theft “preposterous.”

It all added up to a 5-year prison sentence with orders to pay $1.42 million in restitution for Cantley, a Cabell Midland High School graduate who started at First State Bank as an intern before rising to the level of vice president years later.

Bank president Sam Vallandingham minced few words Monday in illustrating Cantley’s impact upon the 109-year, family institution. He told U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers and the near-capacity courtroom that bank officials became “gut-wrenchingly devastated to learn of (Cantley’s) despicable criminal conduct.”

“While Mr. Cantley learns his fate (Monday), the First State Bank continues to find it necessary to manage the damage he has caused,” he told the court. “Rather than a catastrophic economic event, it was the actions of just one man who ruined the unblemished history of profitability.”

The prison term fell just three months shy of the heftiest sentence advised. The $1.42 million in restitution equaled the plea agreement’s maximum figure. It’s a dollar amount the defense said will follow Cantley for the rest of his professional life, and one Chambers said he would be “shocked” if the defendant could ever repay…

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