- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 26, 2016

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - An inspector for a government agency who conspired with two contractors and others to rig the selection process for federally funded projects is now headed to prison.

Federal prosecutors say Johnny Garces received a 20-month sentence on Wednesday. He also must serve three years of supervised release once he’s freed and must pay restitution.

The 53-year-old Garces had pleaded guilty in March 2015 to a conspiracy charge.

He was an inspector with the Union City Community Development Agency, which receives funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Prosecutors say the conspirators used false and misleading bids to land home improvement, sidewalk replacement and other projects. Officials say the conspirators’ actions caused losses of at least $307,000.

The two contractors also pleaded guilty and received probation sentences.

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