Reversing himself, US judge vacates fraud sentence

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A judge is throwing out a 10-year prison term he gave to a former supervisor of a phony check-cashing scheme in Cedar Rapids.

U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett says the 2010 sentence for Isom Rogers of Davenport was flawed because Rogers’ attorney provided inadequate representation. He ordered a resentencing.

Rogers pleaded guilty to recruiting others to cash fraudulent checks at financial institutions, and then receiving part of the proceeds. Bennett called it a pretty modest bank fraud scheme.

But he gave Rogers a sentence twice as long as federal guidelines recommended because of what he called Rogers’ history of violence against women. Bennett says Rogers’ attorney failed to investigate Rogers’ mental health, which could have provided a mitigating explanation for his outbursts and convinced the judge that treatments were available.

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