Saline resident Glenn “Al” Bates, who stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the veterans hospital to feed sex and gambling addictions, was sentenced to 15 months in prison by US District Court Judge Avern Cohn Wednesday morning.
Bates, a figure in Saline High School athletics for decades, was chief of the Veterans Canteen Service at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Ann Arbor. He stole and embezzled approximately $315,000 in cash and property from the VA, according to court documents.
Judge Cohn also ordered two years of supervised release. Bates was ordered to pay restitution of $314,400.
In December Bates pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government funds as part of a plea agreement. The United States Attorney recommended a sentence of 24-30 months with three years of supervised release and an order to pay $315,000 to the US Department of Veterans Affairs.
Bates spent the money on lap dances and sex with strippers in Columbus, Ohio. He also used stolen funds to gamble at casinos in Battle Creek and Indianapolis.
In arguing for sentence of 24-30 months, the United States Attorney said Bates hadn’t learned from past crimes, which include transportation of stolen property over a state line, no-account check to pay for Saline Area Softball Association umpires, soliciting someone to commit arson and minor theft.
“Given defendant’s history and the nature of his offense, he should be punished. He has been given breaks before and learned nothing from them. And he has no legitimate excuse for his criminal conduct. He should pay a price for what he did,” wrote Stephen L. Hiyama, Assistant United States Attorney.
Bates requested a sentence of house arrest and probation. The Bates defense produced several letters from players, parents and coaches who knew Bates through Saline High School athletics. In these letters people wrote about Bates’ trustworthiness, selflessness and dedication to Saline High School student athletes.
In a letter to the court Bates wrote that he has spent three years rebuilding his life and that he’s not engaged in activities relating to his sex or gambling addictions. He said he found work and has been a productive citizen.
“I just firmly believe that two years in a penal institution will completely destroy any chance for me to continue to find work so that I might begin making restitution for my past offense,” Bates wrote, asking for house arrest that allowed him to work.
The US Attorney argued that two years of monthly payments of $1,400 would barely dent what he owes the VA.
Bates, who about Saline Hornet sports for the Saline Post on a freelance basis in 2014 and 2015, was an assistant coach for the Saline High School varsity baseball team and Saline varsity girls basketball team. He was also official statistician for the Saline varsity football team.