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<p>COLUMBIA, S.C. – The former president of a now-defunct credit union was sentenced last week to six and a half years in prison for his role in the credit union’s demise, including approving questionable loans to high-profile athletes. Lawyers for Andre Lewis, former head of Richland Teachers Council Federal Credit Union, said they would appeal the sentence handed down Monday by U.S. District Judge Joseph Anderson. They said they also would appeal his conviction of last September. A jury found Lewis guilty of eight of 18 criminal charges. He also was ordered to pay $463,035 in restitution to the NCUA, which wrote off $1.3 million in bad loans. The loans were made to athletes and other associates of Summit Management, a now-shuttered Columbia sports agent firm accused of defrauding its clients of hundreds of thousands of dollars. “It was some of the worst lending we’d seen in a long time, frankly, and we look at a lot of credit unions,” Larry Maynard, NCUA director of special actions, was quoted as saying Tuesday in The State newspaper in Columbia. Richland Teachers Council FCU was taken over by Heritage Trust FCU in the wake of the investigation. It originally was created to serve African-American teachers in Richland County, home to South Carolina’s capital city.</p>

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