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SoCal Ponzi Man, 68, Gets Prison

SAN DIEGO (CN) - A man who defrauded investors in a $5.4 million Ponzi scheme was sentenced Monday to two years in federal prison and ordered to pay back the money, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Steven Bartko, 68, of Vista, ran his scam through his company Starfire Technologies, which he claimed sold circuit boards and other electronics to federal contractors, prosecutors said in a statement announcing his sentence. He promised monthly returns of 5 percent to 8 percent, and falsely claimed he made more than 20 percent profits in 60 days by selling his stuff.

Bartko pleaded guilty in September 2011 to a criminal information charging him with mail fraud and filing false tax returns, which defrauded Uncle Sam of $123,000.

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