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Former Lynwood mayor re-sentenced

September 29, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The former mayor of Lynwood was re-sentenced Tuesday to nearly 16 in federal prison in what authorities say is one of the longest sentences ever issued in a federal political corruption case.U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner found Paul Richards, 54, had been properly found guilty of a bribery or kickback scheme to deprive Lynwood of its right to honest services and to cause the city to suffer losses of more than $2.5 million.

Richards had appealed his original sentence in 2006 to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The court eventually remanded the case back to Klausner for reconsideration. Judge Klausner also held that Richards was properly convicted of mail fraud to deprive Lynwood of money or property, extortion, money laundering, and making false statements to the government.

Judge Klausner also denied Richards' request to be released on bond while he asks for another appellate review. In denying bond, Klausner found that Richards posed a flight risk and a danger to the community, and that he was unlikely to win a second appeal, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

In related cases, Judge Klausner Tuesday also re-sentenced Richards' sister, Paula Cameo Harris, to six years in prison. A third defendant in the case, Bevan Atlee Thomas, lost his motion to vacate his judgment and will continue to serve a 10-year prison sentence.


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