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Ousted Trenton, New Jersey, mayor sentenced to prison for corruption

Trenton New Jersey Mayor Tony Mack (L) and his brother Ralphiel Mack arrive at United States Court in Trenton, New Jersey, January 6, 2014.
Trenton New Jersey Mayor Tony Mack (L) and his brother Ralphiel Mack arrive at United States Court in Trenton, New Jersey, January 6, 2014.

By Dave Warner

TRENTON, New Jersey (Reuters) - Tony Mack, found guilty of corruption and forced to resign as mayor of Trenton, New Jersey, was sentenced to more than four years in prison on Thursday for his part in a kickback scheme involving city-owned land.

A U.S. District Court jury in January convicted Mack, 48, then the Democratic mayor of New Jersey's capital city, and his brother, Ralphiel Mack, on charges stemming from a 2010 sting operation.

Judge Michael Shipp sentenced Mack to 58 months in prison, followed by three years supervised release, and a $3,000 fine.

Mack was convicted of six charges of bribery, extortion and wire and mail fraud. The maximum possible terms on each count, if served consecutively, could have amounted to 110 years behind bars.

"There is very little chance that Tony Mack will commit other crimes of a similar nature in the future," the judge said at the sentencing.

As part of the bribery scheme, government informants posing as developers sought to buy city property for a parking garage for $100,000 less than the value of the land.

In exchange, Mack would receive money, prosecutors said. Informants offered $119,000, about $54,000 of which changed hands, they said.

Since taking office in 2010 in the crime-plagued, economically depressed city of 85,000, Mack has been accused by critics of mismanagement and nepotism. He was reportedly deeply in debt at the time of his arrest in 2012.

Mack, who did not speak at his sentencing, had not yet served a full term in office when he was convicted. A month later, a judge ordered Mack to leave, noting state law dictates that convicted officials cannot hold public office.

His brother, who prosecutors said acted as a bag man to pick up money, was convicted of extortion and bribery.

(Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Gunna Dickson)

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