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Former congressman sentenced to prison in tax fraud case

 Posted: 12:15 PM December 11, 2012

LOS ANGELES — A former Oregon congressman has been sentenced to a year in federal prison for failing to report nearly $500,000 he received from a $10 million investment fraud scheme.

Los Angeles federal prosecutors say 80-year-old Wester Shadric Cooley, who lives in Bend, was ordered on Monday to serve a year and a day in prison starting March 11.

The judge also ordered Cooley to pay $3.5 million restitution to 400 investor victims and $138,000 to the Internal Revenue Service.

The Republican represented Oregon's 2nd Congressional District from 1995-1997.

Investigators say Cooley and two others lured victims into purchasing unregistered stock in Bidbay.com Inc. by falsely telling them the company was being acquired by eBay.

Cooley pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return and receiving $1.1 million during the scheme.

— Associated Press


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