Fayetteville Businessman Sentenced To At Least 45 Years
Posted February 24, 2006 2:23 a.m. EST
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — A Fayetteville businessman accused of conning more than 150 senior citizens out of a combined $18 million was sentenced to 45 to 58.5 years in prison Friday morning.
The judge in the hearing had harsh words for Anthony Allen.
"The truth of the matter is, at some point in the proces, you became a predator," said Superior Court Judge John Jolly Jr. "You preyed on elderly people, senior citizens, who were trusting and vulnerable at the time and you knew that."
On Thursday, Anthony Allen begged the judge in the case for mercy. He read a statement in court saying: "I'm not sorry that I've been caught. I'm glad that I've been caught so, now, I can quit hurting these people. I am sorry, terribly sorry, for what I have done. I don't deserve their forgiveness."
Allen pleaded guilty to 85 counts of fraud in December. His sentencing began Wednesday when roughly 20 victims took the stand, urging the court to put Allen away for life.
One victim, Joy Graham, turned to Allen and said, "Anthony Allen, I would like for you to look at me. What happened? Where did my money go?" Allen didn't answer.
"At first, I hated Mr. Allen, then I was disappointed in him," said Graham. "Then, I wanted him punished, punished real bad."
"Mr. Allen needs to be put away so that he can't do it to somebody else" said another victim Nettie Leary
At one point Thursday, Allen was seen crying in court, however, some of his victims thought he may have been faking. During a break in the court proceedings, one man was heard saying, "Those are alligator tears."
Many urged the judge to throw the book at Allen. That may be the only justice they get. Investigators believe their money is gone forever.
When Allen left court Friday, he did not look at his victims nor his parents. He will be taken to Central Prison while prison officials decide where he will serve his sentence. Technically, Allen could have faced up to 800 years behind bars.