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Federal prison guard pleads guilty in fraud scheme

March 7, 2018

MIAMI (AP) — A federal prison guard in Florida has pleaded guilty to working with an inmate in a fraud scheme.

A U.S. Department of Justice news release says 39-year-old Michael Mazar pleaded guilty this week to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

Authorities say Mazar was working at the Federal Detention Center in Miami in February 2017 when he provided an inmate, James Sabatino, with cell phones and other items. Sabatino used the phones to trick luxury store employees and brand representatives to send jewelry, watches and other items to outside co-conspirators in South Florida who sold them at pawn shops and other locations.

Already serving time for an earlier fraud conviction, Sabatino received another 20 years in November after pleading guilty to a related racketeering charge.

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