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Former NFL player Bennett gets 15 months

Oct. 27, 2012 at 4:03 PM   |   Comments

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Former NFL running back Michael Antwon Bennett was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for fraud.

A judge in Florida ordered Bennett to surrender by Jan. 18 to begin serving his sentence, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported. Bennett apologized at his sentencing Friday.

Bennett was arrested this year and pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. He was caught in an FBI sting in which he applied for a $200,000 loan from a financial services business set up by agents and falsely claimed to have $9 million in a bank account.

Bennett, 34, was selected 27th in the first round of the 2001 NFL draft out of Wisconsin by the Minnesota Vikings and was a Pro-Bowl selection in 2002. After four years in Minnesota, he went on to play for New Orleans, Kansas City, Tampa Bay, San Diego and Oakland.

His lawyer says Bennett was desperate for money.

"Unfortunately, Bennett has found himself in very different circumstances in recent years. His career has come to a halt. His marriage is ending. He is in a deep financial hole," Zeljka Bozanic said in a written statement to the court.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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