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Former state lawmaker admits to defrauding government

March 19, 2019

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A former Virginia state lawmaker has pleaded guilty to defrauding the federal government by misusing a program that awards contracts to businesses owned by women and minorities.

News outlets report that former Republican Del. Ron Villanueva of Virginia Beach entered a guilty plea in federal court Tuesday. He faces up to five years in prison and will be sentenced in July.

Federal prosecutors said Villanueva helped to secretly operate two businesses that were purportedly run by other people.

Court documents said the companies, SEK Solutions and Karda Systems, received more than $80 million in contracts. Villanueva and an immediate family member received about $1 million in income.

Villanueva served in Virginia’s House of Delegates from 2010 to 2018. The Republican lost to a Democrat during the 2017 election.

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