Former lawmaker gets 2 ½ years for defrauding government

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A former Virginia state lawmaker has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison for misusing a program that awards contracts to businesses owned by women and minorities.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that former Republican Del. Ron Villanueva of Virginia Beach was sentenced in federal court on Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith dismissed his request for house arrest. She told Villanueva: “You have done good things, but that doesn’t put you above the law.”

Federal prosecutors said Villanueva helped to secretly operate two businesses that were purportedly run by other people.

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Court documents said the companies, SEK Solutions and Karda Systems, received more than $80 million in contracts.

Villanueva served in Virginia’s House of Delegates from 2010 to 2018. The Republican lost to a Democrat in 2017.

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Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com

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