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Former cop, accomplice sentenced for fraud



Published: Thu, July 28, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- A former police officer and another man were sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to criminal conspiracy to commit forgery, a felony charge.

Judge J. Craig Cox sentenced former officer Robert L. Keys, 60, of East Washington Street, and 58-year-old John Hammond of Wilmington Road to 24 months of intermediate punishment, an intense supervision program in the court's Adult Probation division. Through the program, Keys and Hammond will spend the first 60 days of their sentences on house arrest and then will be monitored closely and forced to follow a curfew. After the intermediate punishment program, the men will face four years' regular probation.

Each man was fined $2,000 in addition to the $90,000 restitution they were jointly ordered to pay. Authorities already had seized $52,000 of that restitution.

The two men embezzled $90,000 from the New Castle office of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare while Keys was employed there.

An investigation by the Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General and the state police revealed that Keys had given fraudulent "emergency shelter assistance" checks to Hammond to cash from 2001 to 2004.




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