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Ex-W. Virginia Governor Sentenced to 5 Years, Fined

From Associated Press

Former three-term Gov. Arch A. Moore Jr., convicted of corruption and characterized as remorseless by prosecutors, was sentenced Tuesday to five years and 10 months in prison and fined $170,000.

Moore, 67, pleaded guilty to charges of mail fraud, extortion, obstruction of justice and filing false income taxes during his 1984 and 1988 campaigns and during his third term, from 1985-89. He lost the 1988 reelection bid.

He was ordered to report to the Federal Correctional Institution near Petersburg, Va., by July 31.

U.S. District Judge Walter Hoffman on Monday had refused to let Moore withdraw his guilty pleas.

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“No governor or other public official of that responsibility has ever been convicted for election fraud of this scope,” Assistant U.S. Atty. Joe Savage said before sentencing.

“Arch Moore is a criminal,” he said. “If there is one thing missing from that man, it’s remorse.”

Moore, a Republican who also was governor from 1969-1977, and a U.S. congressman for 12 years, appeared stoic during the sentencing and later declined comment. An appeal is pending, said defense attorney William Hundley.

U.S. Atty. Michael Carey said Moore likely will serve at least 2 1/2 years before being considered for parole.

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“I think it sends a very clear message,” Carey said. “If you violate the public trust, you go to jail.”

Carey’s investigation into state government corruption also has netted the convictions of five legislators, three lobbyists and a state Senate aide.

Moore pleaded guilty May 8 to extorting $573,000 from coal operator H. Paul Kizer in return for a $2.1-million refund from the state’s Black Lung Fund, which provides benefits to coal miners.

Moore also pleaded guilty to trying to block a federal grand jury investigation into corruption in his Administration.

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And he admitted filing false income tax returns in 1984 and 1985 and defrauding the state of his salary and benefits by funneling $100,000 in illegal cash payments into his 1984 campaign, to buy votes.

Hoffman sentenced Moore to five years for extortion, six months for mail fraud and two years each for the tax fraud charges, all concurrent.

Moore also got 10 months for the obstruction of justice charge, which carries that mandatory prison term.

Hundley said Moore’s corruption involved campaign funding violations, not raids on the treasury, and added: “I submit he served well and honorably.”

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