- Associated Press - Thursday, June 5, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - An Albuquerque developer who pleaded guilty to defrauding a federal program designed to steer work to businesses owned by disabled veterans has been sentenced to nearly five years in prison.

Federal prosecutors say 64-year-old Max R. Tafoya received a 57-month prison term Thursday while his 41-year-old son-in-law Tyler Cole was sentenced to 37 months.

The two men also have been ordered to pay more than $1.3 million to the federal government.

Prosecutors say Tafoya falsely claimed his Tafoya Construction Inc. was qualified to participate in the program.

The company won $11 million in contracts, including at the Santa Fe National Cemetery and military cemeteries in Texas, Denver and Missouri.

Tafoya and Cole were charged in the case in February 2012. They pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy last November.

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