2 Former State Employees Sentenced on Racketeering

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St. Petersburg, FL (AP) - June 4, 2012 --

Two former Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission employees have been sentenced to 10 years in prison for racketeering.

Allen Nelson and his wife, Melody Oakleaf-Nelson, were sentenced by a Pinellas County judge on Friday after pleading guilty to racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering.

The Nelsons and three others were charged in Feb. 2010 with making fraudulent purchases, altering invoices, falsifying billing records and bid tampering.

An agency spokeswoman said in an email Monday that the sentence makes it clear that there are significant consequences for this kind of wrong doing.

The Nelsons must also pay restitution to FWC in the amount of $553,000.

Officials say the Nelsons lived in Seminole but also had a home in Las Vegas, which they partially furnished and financed with state money.

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