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  Keating, Jr., Charles H.
NameCharles H. Keating, Jr.
Paradise Valley, Arizona , United States
Website [Link]
Born December 04, 1923
DiedMarch 31, 2014 (90 years)
ContributorThomas Walker
Last ModifedJuan Croniqueur
Dec 04, 2015 01:51am
Tags Caucasian - Married - Navy - Convicted - Catholic - Straight -
InfoCharles Humphrey Keating Jr. (born December 4, 1923 in Cincinnati, Ohio) is an American lawyer, politician and banker. He was convicted of fraud as a result of his central involvement in the savings and loan scandal of 1989. He is also noted as a vehement anti-pornography campaigner.

Keating was educated at Catholic schools and graduated from St. Xavier High School in 1941. After one semester at the University of Cincinnati, he joined the Naval Air Corps in 1943 and was trained as fighter pilot, but World War II ended before he could be deployed. Subsequently he went back to college and received a law degree in 1948 from the University of Cincinnati. He became a founding partner of the Cincinnati law firm Keating, Muething & Klekamp. Together with his wife Marie Elaine, he has five daughters and a son. His brother, William J. Keating, was a Republican Congressman from Ohio.

In the 1940s, Charles Keating was a champion swimmer, winning the 1946 NCAA 200 yard butterfly competition, the first ever national championship for the University of Cincinnati. He is a member of the University of Cincinnati's athletic hall of fame. His son, Charles Keating III, swam in the 1976 Olympics, and his grandson Gary Hall Jr. competed in three Olympics and won 10 medals. Charles Keating has been a long-time supporter of U.S. swimming and in the early 1970s donated a large sum of money to St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati to build a state-of-the-art competition pool. St. Xavier named the Keating Natatorium after Keating, its major benefactor.

In the late 1950s, Keating founded the Cincinnati anti-pornography organization Citizens for Decent Literature, later Citizens for Decency through Law. In 1960 he testified against pornography before Congress.

In 1964 – 1965, he produced the movie Perversion for Profit featuring announcer George Putnam. It was a survey of then-available pornography, and an attempt to link pornography to the decline of culture and to the depravity of youth.

In 1969, President Richard Nixon appointed Keating to the President's commission on pornography, which had been begun under Nixon's predecessor, Lyndon B. Johnson. Keating unsuccessfully attempted to stop publication of the commission's rather liberal recommendations with a restraining order. Failing in that effort, he filed a dissenting report, stating "One can consult all the experts he chooses, can write reports, make studies, etc., but the fact that obscenity corrupts lies within the common sense, the reason, and the logic of every man."

Keating was also instrumental in the ineffective obscenity prosecution of pornographer Larry Flynt in 1976 in Cincinnati. In the 1996 Flynt biopic The People vs. Larry Flynt, he was portrayed by actor James Cromwell.

He also appears in the 2005 documentary Inside Deep Throat.

In 1972, Keating began to work for American Financial Corp., a company involved in insurance and banking. Four years later he moved to Phoenix, Arizona to run the real estate firm American Continental Corporation, a spin-off of American Financial Corp. In 1984, American Continental Corporation bought Lincoln Savings. Such savings and loan associations had been deregulated in the early 1980s, allowing them to make highly risky investments with their depositors' money, a change of which Keating took advantage.

Some regulators noted the danger and pushed for more oversight, but Congress refused. Some of this may be due to the Keating Five, five Senators (Dennis DeConcini, Alan Cranston, John Glenn, Don Riegle and Keating's good friend John McCain) who had received some $300,000 from Keating in the 1980s as political contributions. They later met twice with regulators who were investigating American Continental Corp., in an attempt to end the investigation. (In 1990, they would be rebuked to various degrees by the Senate Ethics Committee.)

In 1985, Keating hired Alan Greenspan as an economic consultant, in an effort to convince an oversight agency to exempt Lincoln Savings from certain regulations. Greenspan delivered a favorable report, writing that Lincoln Savings was "a financially strong institution that presents no foreseeable risk to depositors or the government." (Greenspan produced similar favorable reports on numerous other banks that also failed soon after.) The agency ultimately declined the request.

American Continental Corporation, the parent of Lincoln Savings, went bankrupt in 1989; more than 21,000 mostly elderly investors lost their life savings, in total about $285 million, largely because they held securities backed by the parent company rather than deposits in the federally insured institution, a distinction apparently lost on many if not most of them until it was too late. The federal government covered almost $3 billion of Lincoln's losses when it seized the institution. Many creditors were made whole, and the government then attempted to liquidate the seized assets through its Resolution Trust Corporation, often at pennies on the dollar compared to what the property had allegedly been worth and the valuation at which loans against it had been made.

In 1989, Keating, when subpoenaed to testify before the House Banking Committee, invoked his right against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Keating blamed the government regulators for the failure of Lincoln Savings and filed suit in order to regain control over the bank. The suit was dismissed in August 1990, with the judge calling the seizure fully justified because of the looting of the institution by Keating and his associates.

In September 1990, Keating was criminally charged with having duped Lincoln's customers into buying worthless junk bonds of American Continental Corporation; he was convicted in state court in 1992 of fraud, racketeering, and conspiracy and received a 10 year prison sentence. In January 1993, a federal conviction followed, with a 12 and a half year sentence. He spent four and a half years in prison, but both sentences were eventually overturned.

In the 1980s, Keating had donated some $1,250,000 to Mother Teresa; during his state trial, she wrote a letter on his behalf to presiding Judge Lance Ito, saying that she was not informed about his business but she knew him as a man who was generous toward the poor.

Various government agencies and private parties initiated civil lawsuits against Keating. One federal class action case involving 20,000 plaintiffs resulted in a $3.3 billion judgement (later reduced to $1.6 billion) against him and his former companies, for having defrauded investors.

Another case filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was settled in 1994. Keating claimed to be bankrupt but agreed to repay millions should any hidden assets turn up. A third case filed by the Resolution Trust Corporation resulted in a summary judgement of $4.3 billion against Keating and his wife in 1994, the largest judgement ever against a private person; it was overturned on appeal in 1996.

Also in 1996, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that the state trial judge Lance Ito had mistakenly allowed the jury to convict Keating without instructing them to determine whether he intended to defraud investors. Thus the conviction was overturned; the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the government's appeal in October 2000, and state prosecutors declined to move for a retrial.

In 1996, the same Court of Appeals had ruled that some of the jurors in the federal case might have been influenced by their knowledge of the state case and ordered the trial judge to investigate the matter; the trial judge then granted a new trial.

In 1996, on the eve of the retrial of the federal case, Keating entered a plea agreement: he admitted to having committed bankruptcy fraud by extracting $1 million from American Financial Corp. while already anticipating the collapse that happened weeks later; in return, the federal prosecutors dropped all other charges against him and his son, Charles Keating III. He was sentenced to the four years he had already served.

Keating remains essentially unrepentant, maintaining that not his mistakes but regulators' actions were ultimately responsible for the losses. He repeated these claims in an interview in 2006. The 2004 book The Savings and Loan Crisis: Lessons from a Regulatory Failure makes similar claims and presents Keating in a favorable light.



Title Purchase Contributor

Start Date End Date Type Title Contributor

Date Category Headline Article Contributor

Importance? 0.00000 Average

Father Charles H. Keating 0000-
Brother William J. Keating 1927-2020
Nephew William "Bill" Keating, Jr. 0000-

AZ District 3 - Nov 06, 1990 R Robert Lee "Bob" Stump
NC District 5 - Nov 06, 1990 D Stephen L. Neal
CA District 17 - Nov 06, 1990 R Charles "Chip" Pashayan, Jr.
AZ District 4 - Nov 08, 1988 R Jon Kyl
AZ District 5 - Nov 08, 1988 I Jim Kolbe
AZ US Senate - Nov 08, 1988 D Dennis W. DeConcini
CA US Senate - Nov 08, 1988 R Pete Wilson
MI US Senate - Nov 08, 1988 D Donald W. Riegle, Jr.
NC District 5 - Nov 08, 1988 D Stephen L. Neal
UT US Senate - Nov 08, 1988 R Orrin G. Hatch
US President National Vote - Nov 08, 1988 R George H. W. Bush
US President - D Primaries - Jul 01, 1988 D Gary Hart
NY District 31 - Nov 04, 1986 R Jack Kemp
AZ District 4 - Nov 04, 1986 R Jon Kyl
AZ US Senate - Nov 04, 1986 R John McCain
AZ District 5 - Nov 04, 1986 I Jim Kolbe
CA US Senate - Nov 04, 1986 D Alan Cranston
OH US Senate - Nov 04, 1986 D John Glenn
IL District 11 - Nov 04, 1986 D Frank Annunzio
CA Governor - Nov 04, 1986 R George Deukmejian
KS US Senate - Nov 04, 1986 R Robert J. "Bob" Dole
GA District 10 - Nov 04, 1986 D Douglas Barnard
NV US Senate - Nov 04, 1986 D Harry M. Reid
AZ District 1 - Nov 04, 1986 R John Jacob "Jay" Rhodes, III
CA District 38 - Nov 06, 1984 R Robert K. "B-1 Bob" Dornan
AZ District 4 - Nov 06, 1984 R Eldon D. Rudd
AZ District 1 - Nov 06, 1984 R John McCain
CO US Senate - Nov 06, 1984 R William L. Armstrong
AZ District 5 - Nov 06, 1984 I Jim Kolbe
AZ District 3 - Nov 06, 1984 R Robert Lee "Bob" Stump
TX US Senate - Nov 06, 1984 R Phil Gramm
US President - D Primaries - Jul 01, 1984 DFL Walter F. "Fritz" Mondale
AZ District 4 - Nov 02, 1982 R Eldon D. Rudd
CO District 6 - Nov 02, 1982 R Jack Swigert
AZ District 1 - Nov 02, 1982 R John McCain
AZ US Senate - Nov 02, 1982 D Dennis W. DeConcini
CA District 27 - Nov 04, 1980 R Robert K. "B-1 Bob" Dornan
UT US Senate - Nov 04, 1980 R Edwin Jacob "Jake" Garn
AZ District 4 - Nov 04, 1980 R Eldon D. Rudd
US President - R Primaries - Jun 03, 1980 R John B. Connally