Local businessman Ronnie Boone will not face any jail time for bribery, bank fraud

Posted at 12:35 PM, Mar 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-20 18:16:48-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Local businessman Ronnie Boone Sr. was sentenced Monday for bribery and bank fraud.

Boone was sentenced to three years probation and one year of house arrest. He will face no jail time.

Defense Attorney Jon Babineau put Boone’s doctor on the stand who explained that he had a minor stroke, extremely high blood pressure which he said he is currently on 5 medications for, and suffered from depression.

He requested probation or home confinement at most.

The federal prosecutor asked for 18 months in jail but the judge sided with the defense.

Back in November, Boone took the stand in the corruption case against the Norfolk City Treasurer Anthony Burfoot.

He testified that he gave Burfoot cash for years, paid for dinners and gave him access to his beach house in exchange for support with city council matters that impacted his business.

Boone told the jury he was disappointed when Burfoot took the Treasurers position, giving up his seat on city council but he claimed Burfoot reassured him he would still be able to do him favors.

Burfoot was found guilty of political corruption and perjury and he is expected to be sentenced on April 17th.

Burfoot’s attorney Andrew Sacks said he had no comment on Boone’s sentence except that Burfoot has always said and continues to say, that he never received a nickel or anything else from Boone in exchange for anything.

Judith Boone, Ronnie Boone’s wife issued the following statement after the sentencing of her husband Monday:

"I am eternally thankful to the court for showing leniency today in its sentencing of my husband, Ronald Boone, Sr.

He has made no excuses for his mistakes and has accepted full responsibility. I am hopeful that people will be able to look beyond this sad incident and remember that he has a kind heart and has helped a great many people in Hampton Roads through his numerous charitable works and community efforts.

Please also know that this sentence does not affect Judy Boone Realty. We are committed to serving our community and will continue to do so. I am so grateful for our loyal clients who have stayed the course with us through this tough time.

This does, however, greatly affect our family. We have been through some extremely challenging times before in our lives and have been able to rise above them through positive prayers of faith and supportive unified strength in our family and friends. With God's grace and mercy, I trust this will also be how we will get through this difficult chapter together.

Thank you for respecting the privacy that our family needs to move forward right now."

The judge said Boone will not be allowed to leave his house except for doctor’s appointments and work.

He will also have to pay the government back $950,000.

Boone left court without saying a word but in the courtroom, before he was sentenced, he addressed the judge and apologized to his family for the shame that his actions caused.

He also apologized to the community and thanks his supporters for sticking by him.

“I think he (Boone) got sidetracked. He allowed a relationship with Mr. Burfoot to go somewhere where it should've never gone, now we have to work hard to restore his image back in the community,” said Babineau.

The judge said he was going to sentence Boone to about a year in prison, but after hearing from his doctor he said he decided to change his sentence to home confinement.

“He's done a lot of good for the Hampton Roads community and we can expect a lot more good to come from Ronnie Boone moving forward,” said Babineau.

The federal prosecutor had no comment leaving the courthouse.