- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 25, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) - A 45-year-old construction contractor from Illinois has been sentenced to six months in prison for conspiring to defraud a government program designed to help companies deemed disadvantaged.

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., also ordered Michelle Cho of Downers Grove to forfeit nearly $170,000 and to pay a fine of $35,000. She faced a maximum five-year prison sentence.

A Tuesday statement from the Department of Justice statement says Cho masterminded a scheme that defrauded the business assistance program of tens of millions of dollars over five years.

She was charged in October with one count of conspiring to commit wire fraud. She pleaded guilty a month later.

Cho was an officer of Far East Construction Corporation. Other suspects in the scheme have also pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.


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