Former activist gets prison term for fraud

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by Associated Press

Associated Press

Posted on January 29, 2013 at 5:06 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 29 at 7:05 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A former social activist convicted of defrauding a California charity backed by celebrities Danny Glover and Harry Belafonte has been sentenced to three years and four months in prison.

Hari Dillon was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in San Francisco after being convicted last year of embezzling from the Vanguard Public Foundation and defrauding its donors.

Vanguard collapsed in 2011 after losing millions of dollars in two separate scams.

Dillon could have faced more than eight years behind bars, but U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer ordered the lighter sentence because Dillon helped investigators uncover an even bigger scam operated by Samual "Mouli" Cohen.

Cohen was sentenced in April to 22 years in prison for operating a $30 million Ponzi scheme that victimized the foundation.

Authorities say Dillon siphoned $2.5 million from the foundation at the same time Cohen was operating his fraud.

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