Bethany Krajelis Apr. 5, 2013, 3:52pm

The sentencing of former Madison County Treasurer Fred Bathon has been changed from May 17 to May 21.

Bathon, who served as treasurer from 1998 until his 2009 resignation, pled guilty in February to violating the Sherman Antitrust Act in relation to rigged delinquent tax sales.

He faces between 33 and 41 months in prison under the terms of his plea. He will also lose his entire public pension as a result of his conviction.

Court records show the sentencing was rescheduled “due to a conflict with the court’s calendar."

U.S. District Judge David Herndon will sentence Bathon.

Bathon's conviction stems from delinquent property tax sales conducted between 2005 and 2008, during which time the U.S. Attorney’s Office says Bathon structured tax sales in a way that eliminated competitive bidding and allowed tax buyers to engage in price fixing.

The federal prosecutor’s office says the former treasurer awarded properties at non-competitive interest rates and made sure his largest campaign contributors were the winning bidders during this period of time.

And by 2007 and 2008, the office says the bid rigging and price fixing was so pervasive that distressed homeowners were charged the statutory maximum interest –18 percent-- on nearly every property tax lien sold.

In addition to this criminal case, Bathon is named as a defendant in at least three civil suits over his handling of the county’s delinquent tax sales.

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