Federal Judge Ronnie L. White sentenced Bryan C. Binkholder to nine years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release during a sentencing hearing Friday at 10:30 a.m. inside a 10th-floor courtroom at the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse in downtown St. Louis. In addition, the judge ordered Binkholder to make full restitution of more than $3 million the court said he owes his victims .
If the name rings familiar, it’s because Binkholder hosted “The Financial Coach Show” on Saturday afternoons on FM Newstalk 97.1, St. Louis’ only conservative FM radio station, from 2009 until early 2012. when his face appeared on the station’s airstaff listing for the last time during the first week of February 2012. A source told me Binkholder had also bankrolled many of the costs involved in staging the first St. Louis Tea Party event at Kiener Plaza in downtown St. Louis in 2009, but I could not obtain confirmation of that today.
Binkholder’s sentencing came several weeks after he accepted a plea deal on four counts of committing financial crimes involving real estate investments in St. Louis and Florida, and brings to a close an investigation that began at the state level more than five years ago and later appeared on the radar of federal investigators.
Attorney Albert Watkins tried to convince Judge White to reduce the number of points levied against Binkholder per federal sentencing guidelines and thereby reduce his sentence, but the judge wasn’t to be persuaded.
While being led out of the courtroom in handcuffs and wearing an orange prison jumpsuit after the hearing, Binkholder turned toward the gallery — where approximately 60 people were in attendance, including his wife and one of his three children — and told those who had not yet left they would get all of their money back if the government handled things (i.e., the assets involved) properly.
Binkholder’s attorney told the court his client will need a court-appointed attorney to handle his appeal which must be filed within 14 days.
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