Guilty plea: Comer goes directly to jail

news-mikecomerbeforeafterA remorseful Mike Comer, unaccompanied by family members, pleads guilty to five counts.

Michael D. Comer, the former treasurer of the Glenmore Community Association accused of stealing $465,000, pleaded guilty to four counts of embezzlement and one count of money laundering April 13, and immediately went to jail rather than remain out on $50,000 bond until his June 30 sentencing.

He faces 120 years in prison and a $510,000 fine if he receives the maximum sentence on the five felony counts, Judge Cheryl Higgins advised Comer in Albemarle Circuit Court.

Comer, 46, disappeared for nearly a month last summer on July 1, the same day the homeowners association was readying an audit.

He wrote five checks in the fall of 2008 from the homeowners' account to Glenmore Associates, the company that runs the gated community developed by Comer's late father-in-law, Frank Kessler, who also founded Real Estate III. That company became a franchise of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate last week.

news-blair-howardAttorney Blair Howard acknowledges his client's poor judgment.

"Glenmore Associates was going through some very difficult financial situations in the fall of 2008," said Comer's Warrenton attorney, Blair Howard. "Mr. Comer was using very poor judgment as he tried to right the ship. He betrayed the trust of the Glenmore Community Association."

Glenmore Associates, which owns the Glenmore Country Club, of which Comer was president, has issued two notes to the homeowners association totaling $443,000. It has repaid $300,000, and has promised to pay the balance by August.

Comer is ordered to pay the Glenmore Community Association $167K, which includes $12,000 for the audit and $9,000 in attorney fees.

Glenmore resident Ann Harrod is satisfied with Comer's guilty pleas. "I didn't think he had any choice but to plead," she said following the hearing. "The data was all there."

Attorney Howard notes that Comer has accepted responsibility for his actions, has been cooperative with authorities, and is remorseful. Says Howard, "He feels very, very badly."

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You people can't look at the two pictures and see what's going on with him? LOL

Hey Long Memory,

Why was your list so short? What about the other "clan" members?

This woman stole 24,000 and got one year in jail for it.


If $24,000 equals 1 year in jail then Comer should be getting 19 years plus a few months.

If he gets less than that then there needs to be an article about the inequities of class in the Judicial system.

I agree two years three max. But it's not because of what money can buy you. White collar crime has always held weak penalties for the people who get caught commiting it. It is simply stealing without breaking or entering, or malicious intent. Comer ain't no Bernie Madoff but he should be made an example of. He should be tarred and feathered and then stoned in the streets of Glenmore.

He'll very easily be able to manipulate this judge to feel for him. She only throws the book at poor schlubs in her courtroom and takes a shine to every sweet-talkin' man in a nice suit. His lawyer is NO DOUBT advising him of that as it's well known that Cheryl Higgins is not the wisest judge and is easily swayed by truly superficial things.

1 year for stealing $24,000 SHOULD mean that Comer would be in jail for a long time. But Comer is from Glenmore. He probably belonged to the right clubs, or knows people that do. He'll get a slap on the wrist.

Yepper, I am gonna have to disagree with you here. Judge Higgins is an extremely intelligent judge. I would rate her right up at the top along with retired Judge Paul Peatross and retired/deceased Judge Herbert Pickford.

I will also state for the record that her husband is an extremely intelligent and honest cop. And as we all know, they seem to be few and far between lately too.

Holly Heilberg wrote, "He used very poor judgment but might have felt enormous financial pressure that many of us have never experienced."

I'm okay with taking this into consideration, as long as we are consistent and take this into consideration every time someone (anyone, from any walk of life) steals money or property. Otherwise, we're just giving rich people a break that we refuse to extend to average and poor people.

It's interesting that he chose jail over returning to his wife's house.

did he steal the money to benefit himself personally? or did he do it to shore up the company? (and yes, I know that he gets a paycheck but so do a lot of other people) Can you say Ivy Industries revisited?

gasbag, yours is one opinion. That's not the general sentiment of the local legal community that works in her courtroom.

Deleted by moderator.

If one has an equity interest in the corporation for whom one steals, personal gain is an inevitable attendant motive. Comer is contrite because he got caught; he didn't make a bad decision, but a series of bad decisions/thefts.

Yep, he grew a beard. It always starts there.

As you can see, even two well documented facts were exised by the defamation-fearing Hook. The truth may out but not here.

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Long memory may actually recall the Frank Kessler of long ago and how he lived back in the long ago days, long before Real Estate 3 and The Kessler Group. There are locals who remember, but of course Charlottesville doesn't have too many locals and that would allow someone to "hide in plain view", Yeah.

Wait....what if I wanted to read Seriously?'s comment....Hey Mr/Ms. Moderator...give us a change to find out WHY you are hitting that almight delete button!

Anyone willing to bet he doesn't get more than 2 years? Funny what money can buy you.

You want to read juvenile namecalling?

I think he should only get probation. He was only redistributing the wealth.

Oh, darn, Gas I appologize! If that's all that person had to say, then delete them! I just haven't learned all the reasons why the moderator deletes posts yet! Thanks!

He should have had company under the bus.

That's nuts that he could face 120 years in prison for stealing money when rapists and repeat offender child molesters often receive much less time, sometimes released after only a few years to walk the streets and do it all again. Our justice system is nuts.

Dem boyz be hood up in Glenmore. Take ya HOA dues wit no remorse, son. Comer coulda been gettin some becky wit dat scrilla, but he just wash it ova to da Association instead. Dat man col' blooded. Bet.

He will find a "Get Out of Jail Free" card for sure- you watch..........he went too easily.

He used very poor judgment but might have felt enormous financial pressure that many of us have never experienced. I hope we won't add another layer of guilt and bias because he was a part of a more well-to-do community. It's just another form of reversed prejudice.

the results from her courtroom are what makes a difference.

You watch what happens with Comer. He'll get off easily.

Can't help but wonder what the wife thinks of all this considering her father founded that company.

Ok Just Bob, so anyone that steals 2,000 should get a month in jail? 1k equals 15 days? 750 gets you about a week? CMOOOOOON MAN

YO YO Timmy B thats off the hook SON! We should do a rap video...Holla! Harry D how does he get a get out of jail free card if he is in jail this very epiphanic moment? Hey Holly alot of folk me and my homies included are experiencing great financial pressures rit now but... I don't steal from wifeys poppys HOA.werd

He will end up pulling a few years. Child molesters, rapists, and animal abusers get far less time than what this man is facing.
HOW is going to pay back the money behind bars? He stole money. make his butt get a job and start paying the money back. Putting him in jail will not do anything but make the state pay for his stay.

I actually know a few white collar criminals who live in Glenmore, kind of karmic retribution dont you think? You think all those residents who overpaid for their pretentious houses made their money honestly? I know 3 business owners in town who should be in jail right now for stealing from their partners, employees and the IRS, names available upon request

If Comer had just a little financial sense, he shouldn't have an issue paying that money back given the stock market's performance over the past year. If Comer had simply subscribed to my email report and followed my advice, he would be looking at a 412% return on his money over the past 12 months. For those that are unaware, for just $35 a month (just over $1 a day), you can subscribe to my weekly stock report and sports handicapping email chain. As an introductory offer, anyone who embezzles from a local youth sports league, religious organization, or cub/girl scouts will receive 100 free credits in my online sportsbook. Call 281-330-8004 to subscribe! Tonights free lock - St Louis over Houston in the sports world, and buy Citi for long in the market once the goverment begins dumping their share and the price dips. Don't wait until you get thrown in the can and your legal fees start mounting up, call me now!!!

Yepper, what would you consider a reasonable sentence in this case? You can't realistically base the sentence on the amount of money stolen, for example, one year for every $24,000 stolen.

And are you of the opinion that perhaps we need to save jail space for people who commit horrendous and violent crimes?

Well, once again Yepper, I am basing my opinion on what I have heard from the same "legal community" you speak of. Guess we need to take a poll of all the local attorneys. Whether the defendants think she is wise or not makes no difference.

Just Bob: You are assuming the man stole the money for personal gain
and that has yet to determined in this case. The woman in that article clearly took money for her own use.

I spent some time with Mike this weekend and he seemed to me a very contrite individual indeed. In my estimation he is a man who when placed in a tough spot made a poor decision and is now extremely sorry for it. I pray that he gets no more than six months and I can assure you that six months in jail in a place like ACRJ would make most of you cry like babies - particularly the entitled glenmore crowd.

God speed Mike...