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The Latest: Ex-CEO of transit system sentenced to probation

November 20, 2018

PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on sentencing of former Valley Metro chief executive Stephen Banta for his fraud conviction (all times local):

9:25 a.m.

The former chief executive of metro Phoenix’s mass transit system was sentenced two years of probation and was fined $6,000 for his fraud conviction for falsely claiming personal expenses as business costs.

Stephen Banta had previously pleaded guilty to the felony charge after state auditors released a report saying Banta claimed that $32,000 in personal travel, meal and alcohol costs for him and his wife were expenses related to his work.

Banta’s attorney, Frederick Petti, says his client has admitted improperly claiming $3,200 in personal meals as business expenses.

As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors agreed not to file additional charges arising out of the findings from the auditor’s report.

Banta served as Valley Metro’s chief executive from early 2010 until late 2015.

10:57 p.m.

The former chief executive of metro Phoenix’s mass transit system is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday for his fraud conviction for falsely claiming personal expenses as business costs.

Stephen Banta previously pleaded guilty to the felony after state auditors released a report saying Banta claimed that $32,000 in personal travel, meal and alcohol costs for him and his wife were expenses related to his work.

Banta’s attorney says his client admitted improperly claiming $3,200 in personal meals as business expenses.

As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors agreed not to file additional charges arising out of the findings from the auditor’s report.

Banta resigned as Valley Metro’s chief executive in late 2015 after The Arizona Republic reported that he incurred thousands of dollars of questionable expenses paid with public money.

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