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Former TV Exec Gets Time for Ad Scam

NEW YORK (CN) - The former chief operating officer of NYC-TV was sentenced to a little more than a year in prison Wednesday for stealing tens of thousands of dollars in New York City funds, authorities said.

Trevor Scotland pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud last October. He was COO of the television station until last March. The station produces commercials, which are aired during its television programming.

"On a number of occasions between March 2007 and April 2008," federal prosecutors said Scotland directed that VRT Multimedia Inc. be paid for ad production work that was actually done by NYC-TV.

After VRT was paid for its work, VRT's owner, Vincent Taylor, either cut checks to Scotland or made payments on two different credit cards in Scotland's name.

The payments "typically totaled approximately 80 percent of the money VRT had received from advertisers," federal prosecutors said. VRT kept the rest of the money, even though it had "done none of the relevant production work."

In all, the two got away with more than $60,000, officials said.

Taylor was indicted separately on a charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He pleaded guilty last November and is set for sentencing this March.

"Tens of thousands of dollars Scotland stole to enrich himself included New York City funds meant to enrich the lives of New Yorkers," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharrara said in a statement. "When Scotland chose to misrepresent who should be paid for work at NYC-TV, it was more than a shady business deal. It was a way to make a fraudulent buck off the community his business was supposed to inform."

In addition to the prison term, Scotland was ordered to pay more than $65,000 in restitution. He also was ordered to three years of supervised release after his prison term ends.

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