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Oceanside

An Oceanside man who pleaded guilty to paying a kickback to a defense contractor in return for business was sentenced to four months in jail and ordered to pay a $25,000 fine.

Michael Berlant, 53, a sales representative for MTM Fasteners, a firm that sells fasteners used in aircraft, was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge William B. Enright. The case marks the first conviction in the San Diego federal court under a 1986 law aimed at stemming kickbacks, prosecutors said.

Berlant pleaded guilty May 13 to one count of providing a kickback, according to Assistant U.S. Atty. Melanie K. Pierson, the prosecutor. Berlant admitted providing a kickback to a buyer for Rohr Industries to obtain favorable treatment for his firm, Pierson said in a statement issued after the sentencing.

Rohr, which has filed a civil suit linked to the case, estimates its losses at $289,000, Pierson said. She said prosecutors expect Berlant’s case to lead to further criminal charges but declined to elaborate.

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