August 1, 2019 / 9:03 PM / 22 days ago

Former Philadelphia sheriff gets five years in prison in bribery scheme

(Reuters) - The longest-serving sheriff of Philadelphia, who this year admitted taking some $675,000 in bribes and kickbacks from a local businessman, was sentenced on Thursday to five years in prison, prosecutors said.

John Green, 72, was also ordered to forfeit $76,000 in the case, the latest to expose corruption in Philadelphia city government.

“Sheriff Green sold the business of his office for hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks,” Brian Benczkowski, assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s criminal division, said in a written statement.

“Today’s sentence holds him accountable for his near-decade-long betrayal of the public trust,” Benczkowski said.

Green, a Democrat who was a Philadelphia police officer before being elected sheriff in 1988, abruptly left office in 2010 following an audit by the city controller that found irregularities in his office funds.

Green and businessman James Davis were indicted on a string of federal charges in 2015.

Davis was convicted on fraud and income tax charges last year but a U.S. District Court jury acquitted Green on three counts and deadlocked on two others. He pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy in April.

Davis was sentenced earlier this year to 10 years in federal prison.

Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; editing by Bill Tarrant and David Gregorio

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