Ohio man sentenced for false distress call

CLEVELAND (AP) — Authorities say an Ohio man who pleaded guilty to making a false distress call prompting a massive search on Lake Erie must serve three months in federal custody and pay nearly $490,000 restitution.

Federal prosecutors say 21-year-old Danik Shiv Kumar, of Sandusky, was sentenced Monday in Cleveland. Court documents say Kumar called a control tower while on a solo flight from Cleveland to Bowling Green on March 14, 2012, and reported seeing a boat sending up flares.

Prosecutors say U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard crews searched for hours. They say Kumar admitted weeks later that he didn’t see a boat in distress.

Kumar’s attorney says his client apologized for “unfortunate circumstances” that occurred as he flew alone over water at night for the first time and will appeal the restitution.

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