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Man convicted of stealing $1.9 million in COVID-19 relief money gets more than 5 years in prison

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia man has been sentenced to more than five years in federal prison for organizing a scheme that stole nearly $2 million in government aid intended to help businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. A U.S. District Court judge in Brunswick sentenced 41-year-old Bernard Okojie on Monday, six months after a jury convicted him of fraud and conspiracy charges. Prosecutors say Okojie filed dozens of applications for himself and others to receive COVID-19 relief funds in 2020 and 2021, but none of the businesses named in the applications existed. Authorities say Okojie and his accomplices netted more than $1.9 million, which was spent on a home, luxury shopping trips and a toy poodle.

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