A Moro man was sentenced Wednesday to 2 1/3 years in federal prison on charges in a Dec. 13, 2014, staged bank robbery at Liberty Bank in Bethalto.
Eugene Babcock, 58, was sentenced to 28 months in prison, 3 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay remaining restitution in the amount of $165,862. Babcock had returned $115,000 prior to his plea of guilty.
Evidence showed on Dec. 13, 2014, bank manager Matthew S. Liebheit, 39, also of Moro, 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 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.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bethalto Police Department. The case is assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura V. Reppert.