SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A family man once regarded as a pillar of his community was sentenced to 40 years in prison Thursday for a string of bank robberies after being turned in by his own sons, who recognized him in a surveillance photo.
The judge imposed the minimum sentence on 64-year-old William Alfred "Al" Ginglen. Ginglen, who pleaded guilty in July to pulling seven bank robberies in 2003 and 2004, was also ordered to pay $56,382 in restitution.
U.S. District Judge Jeanne Scott called Ginglen's sons "the greatest credit of your life."
"They acted in an exemplary fashion under circumstances that must have been incredibly difficult," she said. "Someone taught them right from wrong, even when you didn't. Their actions perhaps saved your life."
Given the chance to speak before he was sentenced, Ginglen started to address the court, stopped for a minute and a half to compose himself, and then said: "I'd like to apologize to everyone."
Ginglen, a married father of four from Lewiston, was once a civic leader, serving as a village trustee, zoning board chairman, auxiliary police officer and firefighter. But he descended into a life of crime after losing two jobs.
Authorities said he needed the money to support a girlfriend, a crack habit and visits to prostitutes — a secret life he scrupulously documented in a diary discovered by authorities.
Ginglen's double life began to unravel in 2004, when one of his sons, Peoria police officer Jared Ginglen, recognized his father on bank surveillance videos posted on a law enforcement Web site. The brothers turned their father in.
The three Ginglen boys — Jared, Clay and Garrett — said it was their father, a former Marine, who taught them to always do the right thing.
"There are no winners here today. The whole thing has been a tragedy for my family," Jared Ginglen said after his father's sentencing. He said there were no regrets about turning his father in: "It had to be done."
Their father's attorney, Ron Hamm, said "something snapped" in Ginglen. And the judge told Ginglen that she faced a "dilemma in trying to figure out what in the world happened to you."