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Second Moro man sentenced for role in staged bank robbery


From Illinois Business Journal news services

Eugene Babcock, 58, of Moro, was sentenced this week in United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois to 28 months in federal prison on charges stemming from a staged bank robbery at Liberty Bank in Bethalto on Dec. 13, 2014.

Evidence showed that Matthew Liebheit, a bank manager at Liberty Bank, called police to report a bank robbery, indicating that a masked individual forced him into the bank at gunpoint prior to the bank opening. He gave a description of the suspect’s vehicle as being a tan station wagon or crossover-style vehicle. He stated that he was forced to give the individual more than $280,000 from the bank’s vault.

Further investigation revealed that Liebheit’s truck was used as a getaway vehicle and Liebheit was involved in the planning of the staged bank robbery. The masked individual was identified as Babcock. Liebheit recruited Babcock to orchestrate the robbery with an agreement that they would split the proceeds afterwards.

In addition to the prison term, Babcock received three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay remaining restitution in the amount of $165,862. Babcock had returned $115,000 prior to his plea of guilty.

Liebheit, 40, also of Moro, was sentenced in February to 41 months in federal prison and four years of supervised release on two counts of theft, embezzlement, or misapplication by a bank officer or employee and one count false bank entries. Liebheit was also ordered to pay $140,862 in restitution and a $300 special assessment.

The cases were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bethalto Police Department. The cases were handled by Assistant United States Attorney Laura V. Reppert.

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