- Associated Press - Thursday, January 5, 2017

MIAMI (AP) - A former maintenance chief at Miami International Airport has been sentenced to seven years in federal prison after pleading guilty to fraud in the purchases of thousands of lighting fixtures.

Court documents show 46-year-old Ivan Valdes also was ordered by a judge Thursday to pay $5.4 million in restitution and to surrender at a prison in March. Valdes was maintenance division director for the Miami-Dade County Aviation Department.

The total fraud was estimated at more than $5 million. State bribery, bid tampering and other charges are pending.

Valdes pleaded guilty to theft charges in October. Prosecutors say he conspired with lighting company executives and other airport employees to receive kickbacks from the rigged purchase of more than 9,000 lighting fixtures over a five-year period. Four other people were charged.

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