Former Ariz. lawmaker to go to prison for fraud

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Former Rep. Richard Miranda By Mike Gertzman Former Rep. Richard Miranda By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX (AP) -- A federal judge has disregarded requests for leniency in sentencing a former Arizona legislator who defrauded a charity he formerly headed of nearly $145,000.
U.S. District Judge Roslyn Silver on Monday sentenced former Rep. Richard Miranda to 27 months in prison. That's the maximum under a plea agreement with prosecutors.
The Tolleson Democrat pleaded guilty March 14 to federal charges of wire fraud and tax evasion.
Miranda resigned suddenly from the Legislature on Feb. 16, citing family and health concerns. He had been a member of the Legislature since 1999.
Miranda's defense lawyer provided Silver with about 20 letters in which U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor, current and former legislators and others asked for leniency.
Some of the letter-writers requested probation, but Silver says Miranda abused positions of trust.