Former restaurant co-owner sentenced in federal court

By Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A federal judge has sentenced one of the former owners of Kitty's on the Canal restaurant in Utica to nearly two years in prison and ordered him to help pay $1.4 million in restitution for his role in staging vehicle crashes for insurance money.

Judge Norman Mordue has also ordered David Morgan, 55, who pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud last year, to spend three years under supervised release.

Authorities say he admitted agreeing to help several others stage a crash in Utica in 2006, claim injuries and sue for insurance settlements.

In a sentencing memorandum, the defense says Morgan, unlike the others, wasn't convicted of conspiracy and only personally collected about $7,000 for vehicle damage.

Prosecutors said he participated in the plans and was jointly responsible.

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