- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 11, 2017

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A Marianna man who says he plotted to defraud a feeding program for children in low-income areas has been sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to make $380,000 in restitution.

The U.S. Attorney’s office said 34-year-old James E. Franklin Jr. was sentenced Tuesday for conspiring to commit wire fraud. After completing his prison term, he will be on two years’ supervised release.

Franklin is the fourth person sentenced in what prosecutors say was a scheme to defraud feeding programs funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Franklin claimed he fed 244 children a day at a center in Hughes and another 287 at Brinkley. Witnesses said he fed no more than 25 children at the two feeding sites.

Eight other defendants are awaiting sentencing. Three await a trial.

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