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3 sentenced on federal fraud, kickback counts

ABINGDON (AP) Three people have been sentenced to federal prison for their roles in a fraud scheme involving a southwest Virginia utility authority.

The defendants sentenced Thursday included two former vice presidents at the Bristol Virginia Utilities Authority and a contractor.

Sixty-one-year-old Robert James Kelley of Lexington was sentenced to 2½ years in prison and ordered to pay $330,510 in restitution.

Forty-four-year-old David Copeland of Bristol was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay $144,000 in restitution.

The third defendant, 63-year-old Michael Clark of Colbert, Georgia, was sentenced to eight months in prison and ordered to pay $110,065 in restitution.

The punishment was for kickbacks and work that was never performed.

All three were sentenced in U.S. District Court in Abingdon. A fourth defendant has yet to be sentenced.

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