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Press Release

Serial Bank Robbery Sentenced To 45 Years In Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Michigan

A serial bank robber was sentenced today to 45 years in federal prison after having been convicted of four counts of bank robbery and one count of conspiracy to commit bank robbery, announced United States Attorney Barbara McQuade.

McQuade was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Robert D. Foley, III, Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Arthur Payton, 45, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff in Port Huron, Michigan.

In November 2012, a federal jury convicted Payton for recruiting heroin-addicted prostitutes to rob banks in Oakland and Wayne counties. After the FBI determined that Payton was responsible for the bank robberies, his co-defendant wore a hidden microphone and recorded Payton planning his next set of bank robberies in downtown Detroit. Payton stole approximately $8,000 from the four banks.

This conviction was Payton's third federal conviction. He was convicted in San Diego in the mid-1990s and in Detroit in 2005 for engaging in identical schemes to use drug-addicted prostitutes to rob banks. In 1994, Payton appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show as a "bank robbing pimp."

“This defendant has returned to the same criminal scheme each time he has been released from prison, preying on vulnerable women at the fringes of society to rob banks,” McQuade said. “This lengthy sentence was necessary because prison is the only thing that prevents him from robbing banks.”

FBI Special Agent in Charge Foley stated, "This case is an example of the FBI's commitment to combat violent crime in the state of Michigan. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to stop these illegal acts and ensure dangerous criminals are arrested and prosecuted."

This case was investigated by the FBI, the Livonia Police Department, the Farmington Hills Police Department, the Farmington Police Department, and the Novi Police Department.

AUSAs Doug Salzenstein and Matthew Roth prosecuted the case for the United States.

Updated March 19, 2015