Financier Charles Keating dead at age 90 - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Financier Charles Keating dead at age 90

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Charles H. Keating (1923 - 2014) Charles H. Keating (1923 - 2014)
PHOENIX (KSAZ) -

Charles H. Keating, the Arizona businessman who became synonymous with the savings and loan scandal in the 1980s died Monday night in Phoenix.

He was 90 years old.  He lived large, dreamed big and his fall was epic.

30 years before the housing crisis, there was the savings and loan scandal -- and the valley's Keating was the poster boy.  His bravado made him an easy villain.

He spent five years in federal prison for defrauding thousands of investors through the failure of Lincoln Savings and Loan.

Through it all, Keating maintained his innocence.

"They didn't know what they were talking about."

The scandal nearly brought down Arizona Senators John McCain and Dennis DeConcini -- two of the so-called "Keating Five."

Prominent politicians who accepted campaign money from Keating and then lobbied banking regulators on his behalf.

McCain and DeConcini were reprimanded by the Senate, but both remained in office.

Keating was sentenced to 12 years, but only served 50 months. 

FOX 10 was there when he came home.

Before Keating's foray into the savings and loan business, he was a real estate mogul.

Building in Dobson Ranch, the Phoenician Resort, the Islands in Gilbert to name a few.

"These were visionary developments, but they were also economically unstable."

Rich Robertson led a team of reporters at the Arizona Republic that investigated Keating.

Keating was a champion collegiate swimmer.  He served in the Nay during World War II and is the grandfather of Olympic champion Gary Hall, Jr.

The scandal will be the legacy, unfortunately for him and his family."

Stephen C. Neal, Keating's longtime attorney, said "I had the honor to represent him over many years, and I got to see a side of him many others did not. Though his controversies were many, he faced adversity with great dignity, wit and courage."

We do not know of any funeral plans at this point.

The cause of death is not known at this time.

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