PHOENIX — Charles H. Keating Jr., the notorious financier who served prison time and was disgraced for his role in the costliest savings and loan failure of the 1980s, has died, the Associated Press reported Tuesday. He was 90.
When his Phoenix-based home construction company bought Lincoln Savings & Loan in 1984, he elevated its worth from $1.1 billion to $5.5 billion in a four-year period.
But his financial empire crumbled with state and federal convictions for defrauding investors. He allegedly bilked Lincoln customers by selling them $200 million of unsecured "junk" bonds. They became worthless when his company became bankrupt.
The thrift's collapse cost taxpayers $2.6 billion and tarnished the reputations of five senators who became known as the "Keating Five."
The five senators who received campaign donations from Mr. Keating — Democrat Alan Cranston of California, Democrat Dennis DeConcini of Arizona, Democrat John Glenn of Ohio, Republican John McCain of Arizona and Democrat Donald Riegel of Michigan — were accused of impropriety for appealing to regulators on his behalf in 1987.