Alan Mendelsohn Sentenced to Four Years in the Slammer

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It turns out government scammer Alan Mendelsohn's hopes of being sentenced to home confinement, probation, and community service were a little optimistic -- he was sentenced today to four years in prison.

U.S. District Judge William Zloch handed down the sentence this afternoon to the 53-year-old Mendelsohn, who pleaded guilty in December to one count of conspiracy.

Federal probation officials had recommended a sentence of between 18 and 24 months in prison, and Mendelsohn's attorney Alvin Entin pleaded for a sentence that didn't include prison time.

Instead, Zloch sentenced Mendelsohn to a year short of the five-year maximum.

Mendelsohn -- a Hollywood ophthalmologist, GOP fundraiser, lobbyist, and adviser to former Gov. Charlie Crist -- was accused of scheming to bilk the U.S. government while attempting to hide $82,000 in political donations he had secretly given former State Sen. Mandy Dawson.

In addition to that wire fraud, the conspiracy charge included filing false tax returns and lying to federal agents.

Mendelsohn eventually gave in to pressures to cooperate with FBI agents and state prosecutors -- given his ties to Ponzi schemer Joel Steinger -- but federal prosecutors say the statute of limitations had run out on many of the crimes Mendelsohn offered them.

State prosecutors, however, have made no such announcement.

A state prosecutor told the Pulp in February that investigations into Russell Klenet -- who allegedly told Mendelsohn how to hide money from the government -- and Klenet's wife, Broward County Commissioner Stacy Ritter, were still open.

Click here to read more about Mendelsohn and his corruption ties.

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