You've seen him stand silently next to his attorney for the past five years, but now Pat Bombard is breaking his silence, sharing his side of the story with CNYCentral's Dora Scheidell.
"There were mistakes. The mortgage was slandered and tainted and had dirty hands," says Bombard.
Eight years ago, the former Skaneateles car dealer bought the house next door, from his neighbor Erma Jerva, 94. He promised to pay off her mortgage, if he could grow his business on her land while she lived in her home.
"She was getting paid monthly to her trust and I was doing a good job of doing that. When Wilber Bank went out of business and sold off the mortgage, that's when the problems started," says Bombard.
When the financial crisis hit, his bank, Wilber Bank, went bankrupt and sold his mortgage to a third party. Bombard says that third party falsified the mortgage document, which is something he ultimately plead guilty to in court, under the counsel of his attorney.
"They thought it was in the best interest of Mrs. Jerva. Putting her through a long trial at her age, wasn't the right thing to do. And I thought it wasn't the right thing to do because she was a victim as well as I am," says Bombard.
Bombard hoped he would eventually be able to tell his story in civil court, but he never got the opportunity.
"You're innocent until proven guilty. So in criminal court, if I agreed to one thing, I didn't know that could be used against me in civil court. Or I would have definitely said no. I definitely would have gone to trial in criminal court," says Bombard.
After spending three months in jail and finally paying Jerva back in full, Bombard is looking for a clean start.