Pa. businessman sentenced for streetlight fraud

EASTON, Pa. (AP) — A second man who prosecutors say helped bilk an eastern Pennsylvania town out of more than $800,000 will serve 16 months to five years in prison.

The Express-Times reports (http://bit.ly/17LRSae) a Northampton County judge sentenced 49-year-old businessman Robert Kearns to an identical sentence Friday as former business partner P.J. McLaine got last week for stealing more than $832,000 from Bethlehem Township in a streetlight deal gone wrong.

Prosecutors say their company, Municipal Energy Managers Inc., overstated the cost of buying and maintaining streetlights from a utility company and pocketed the difference.

Kearns’ defense attorney Jim Swetz says he will appeal the sentence. He says proceeds of selling the bankrupt company’s assets will go to the township.

Kearns and McLaine still face charges in Cumberland and Lehigh counties for similar deals.

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Information from: The (Easton, Pa.) Express-Times, http://www.lehighvalleylive.com

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