Former Westar CEO sent to prison |

Former Westar CEO sent to prison

TOPEKA, Kan. – The former Westar Energy Inc. chief executive, David Wittig, was sent to federal prison Tuesday after a judge ruled he had violated terms of his release while he appealed convictions for bank fraud and looting Kansas’ largest electric utility.U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson said that numerous financial transactions by Wittig and his wife, Beth, were made without the court’s approval, which was required under the terms of his bond agreement under which he was free.Wittig was convicted in July 2003 of conspiracy, bank fraud and money laundering for helping former Capital City Bank President Clinton Odell Weidner II hide a $1.5 million loan made between the two men from bank officials and federal regulators. Wittig was sentenced to 51 months in prison.He was convicted in September, along with former Westar Chief Strategy Officer Douglas Lake, of wire fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and circumventing internal controls in a scheme to surreptitiously increase his compensation at Westar. Sentencing is scheduled for April 3.Robinson had allowed Wittig to remain free on appeal, provided he didn’t do anything that could diminish the value of or hide his assets, which he might have to turn over to the government or use to pay fines or restitution.But prosecutors argued that several transactions involving various bank accounts and the sale of some stock were part of a larger plan to eventually put all of Wittig’s assets under Beth Wittig’s name, keeping them out of the reach of authorities.The defense claimed the assets in question belonged to Beth Wittig, who once worked on Wall Street as her husband did and had her own money.Vail, Colorado

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