HAMMOND | A 45-year-old Crown Point man accused of robbing banks in Highland, Hammond and South Holland changed his plea to guilty Monday morning.
William Rostin entered into a plea agreement accepting responsibility for robbing a Fifth Third Bank in Hammond, First Financial Bank in Highland and TCF National Bank in South Holland, according to court records. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines for each robbery.
According to court records, Rostin would go to the banks and write "$5,000. I have a .45," on deposit slips he handed employees. In reality, he did not have a gun with him during the heists.
No one was injured in the robberies, and less than $10,000 was taken at each location. But because of the gun threat, Rostin will receive enhancements in calculating his sentencing guideline range. He also will get credit for accepting responsibility, and the government has agreed to ask for the minimum sentence within the calculated guideline range.
Rostin also served time for a 2009 bank robbery, and he had recently been released from the Lake County Work Release Center when he committed the latest string of crimes.
"By pleading guilty, William has accepted responsibility for his conduct," said Rostin's attorney, Jerry Flynn. "We hope to get the best possible result for him at sentencing."