White-collar crime must not be treated “casually” when punishment is imposed, an Ontario Superior Court judge stressed in handing down a fraud sentence to an ex-TD bank manager yesterday.

Thomas Palantzas, 51, pleaded guilty in July to bilking the bank of $819,000 over a seven-year period. The Crown and defence made a joint submission that Palantzas be sentenced to 15 months in a provincial jail and put on probation for three years.

Justice Brian Trafford said that penalty was “contrary to the public interest” and instead imposed a term of four years in a federal penitentiary.

“Crimes of this magnitude will not be treated casually by this court,” Trafford said reading from his 21-page judgment.

“The defendant’s conduct as a branch manager for the bank was a flagrant departure from the standards of the bank and this community.”

A fit sentence in this case, Trafford said, requires emphasis on principles of general and specific deterrence and denunciation, something 15 months wouldn’t adequately do.

The married father of two children has remained out of custody since his arrest in July 2007.