Glenmoregate: Embezzling Comer gets another 3 years
Convicted embezzler Michael Comer stood before a judge today in federal court for the final sentencing in a string of charges that came to light when the Glenmore homeowners association discovered it was missing money–- and its former treasurer.
Kandi Comer, his wife, and her sister, Mo Gaffney, sat in the back of the courtroom as U.S. District Court Judge Norman Moon sentenced a gray-striped, prison-garbed Comer to 36 months on tax fraud and mail fraud charges stemming from embezzlement of Glenmore Associates, PBK Real Estate, and Kessler Enterprises–- companies associated with his wife's family.
Comer had already pleaded guilty. Between 2003 and 2009, he admitted he filed false income tax returns and had $2,548,212 in unreported, taxable income. He agreed to repay the additional income tax that's at least $933,028.
Comer's lawyer, Blair Howard from Warrenton, pleaded with the judge to consider Comer's children and the letters written by his mother-in-law, Peggy Kessler, and sister-in-law Gaffney, both victimized by Comer's financial machinations.
"It's true he betrayed his family," acknowledges Howard. "He used assets to buy a better way of life for his family." That included private school tuition for his two children.
Howard also noted Comer had never been arrested before his July 2009 disappearance, and that he received a glowing letter from the owner of the Jiffy Lube (where he worked for six months before heading to jail in April 2010), who said he'd hire Comer as a manager even knowing his criminal past.
"At its essence, this is nothing but a garden-variety fraud," says Assistant U.S. Attorney Ron Huber. "The fact he uses money to support a lavish lifestyle–- we see it all the time."
"There has to be some deterrent to people so they know there won't be a light sentence," said Judge Moon before sentencing Comer to 36 months on each charge, to be served concurrently, and a $5,000 fine.
The sentence won't, however, be served concurrently with the 18 months Comer's serving on state charges, but Moon did give Comer credit for seven months he's already spent in jail, bringing his federal sentence down to 29 months. Altogether Comer will spend almost four years in prison on state and federal charges.
Before sentencing, Comer stood and thanked his family for their love and support, and vowed to be a responsible, law-abiding citizen when he gets out of prison.