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BERLIN - A German banker who stole money from rich clients to help poor ones has been sentenced to prison, a German court said.

The 45-year-old, dubbed by German media as a modern day Robin Hood, diverted 2.1 million euros ($3.77 million) to clients he felt were needy while holding a senior position at a savings bank in the southern region of Tauberfranken.

"The accused undertook these actions to grant liquidity to clients who, in his view, were short of money and who no longer got loans under the usual money market conditions," said a statement issued by the court in the southern town of Mosbach.

His scheme was uncovered when he turned himself in to police in 2006, the spokeswoman said.