JANESVILLE, Wis. (AP) _ A man who had supervised seven young magazine salespeople killed in a van crash last year was sentenced Tuesday to 3 1/2 years in prison.

Choan Lane, 32, of DeWitt, Iowa, was given the maximum for interference with the custody of a child and three misdemeanors. He had pleaded guilty.

A van carrying 14 young magazine sellers, ages 15 to 22, crashed in March 1999 on Interstate 90 near Janesville. Seven people died and five were seriously injured.

Lane, an agent of the magazine subscription company YES, was not in the van. But prosectors said he had hired the workers without their parents' permission, treated them poorly and encouraged drug use.

Prosecutors also claimed that Lane told driver Jeremy Holmes, who had no valid driver's license, to switch places with another driver if he were ever pulled over by police. The crash happened as Holmes tried such a maneuver while traveling at 81 mph, authorities said.

``The bottom line is that I think this business was going to lead you to a pot of gold, that you were willing to cut legal corners to get to that pot of gold and that you thought the ends justified the means,'' Judge Richard Werner told Lane.

Lane told the court he hoped the victims' family members could find peace and go on with their lives.

``If I could trade places with those families, I would,'' he said. ``If I could go back and change that day, I would.''