CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Ex-Arizona Rep. Renzi gets 3 years in prison for fraud, extortion
(Corrects length of Sandlin's prison term in seventh paragraph)
By Brad Poole
TUCSON, Ariz. Oct 28 (Reuters) - A judge sentenced former U.S. Representative Richard Renzi of Arizona to three years in prison on Monday for fraud, extortion and money laundering stemming from a federal land swap deal when he was in office.
In sentencing the three-term Republican in Tucson, U.S. District Judge David C. Bury also fined him $25,000. Renzi, 55, was convicted in June of 17 felony counts and acquitted on 15 other charges.
He was accused of coercing a mining company in 2005 to arrange for investors to buy land from a former business partner and co-defendant, James Sandlin, who then funneled corporate checks to Renzi.
The former lawmaker, who represented Arizona's 1st congressional district until he stepped down in 2009, was also convicted of funneling funds from an insurance company he managed into personal and campaign accounts.
The government said Renzi used some of that money, which was intended for insurance premiums, to fund his first congressional campaign in 2002. He was indicted in 2008 and left Congress early the following year at the end of his term.
Prosecutors called his crimes a "betrayal of the public trust and an abuse of the political process."
Co-defendant Sandlin, now in his 60s, received a sentence of 18 months in prison and a fine of $12,500. He was convicted of 13 felonies including conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering and extortion. (Writing by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Richard Chang)
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