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Political Trickster Escapes With Probation

SAN DIEGO (CN) - The former policy director for a failed congressional candidate was sentenced Monday to 5 years probation for sending threatening emails to himself to make it appear his boss had threatened him, and lying to the FBI about it.

Todd Bosnich also must do 240 hours of community service, pay a $2,500 fine, and undergo psychiatric counseling, U.S. District Judge Larry Burns said.

Bosnich worked for Carl DeMaio's campaign until DeMaio fired him in May 2014. DeMaio, a Republican, served one term on the San Diego City Council, from 2008 to 2012. He ran for mayor and lost in 2012, and ran for Congress in 2014, but lost to incumbent Democrat Scott Peters.

In sentencing Bosnich, Judge Burns told him that DeMaio was his victim, as were voters.

After he was fired, Bosnich claimed DeMaio had sexually harassed him, and offered him $50,000 in hush money, the U.S. Attorney's Office said Monday. Bosnich told a radio reporter on June 2, 2014, that he had received threatening emails from DeMaio that he was "positive" were from DeMaio or someone close to him.

Three days later, he set up a bogus email account on Yahoo, with false information about himself, then used it to send a "particularly ugly and threatening message" to his personal email account, then he lied to the FBI about it, prosecutors said.

Bosnich, 29, of Del Mar, could have been sentenced to 5 years in federal prison and fined up to $250,000. He pleaded guilty in June to obstruction of justice.

"Bosnich's criminal act had the very real possibility of improperly tipping the scale toward a particular candidate," U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said in a statement. "This was far from a harmless prank."

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