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Report: Federal prosecutors seek prison for former Fiesta Bowl CEO

By Eye on College Football staff

Federal prosecutors are seeking a one-year prison sentence for former Fiesta Bowl CEO John Junker for his role in an illegal campaign-finance scheme, according to the Arizona Republic.

Junker pleaded guilty to a felony conspiracy charge last year that was connected to the illegal-finance plot.

The prosecutors claim Junker, one of six Fiesta Bowl employees to be convicted in the scheme, should spend time in prison for encouraging the others to break the law.

According to the scheme unveiled by the Republic in 2009, Fiesta Bowl funds were used to compensate staff members who contributed to various local, state and federal political candidates. According to the paper, Junker organized the scheme.

In total, 11 staff members were compensated using bowl funds for more than $40,000. The money was delivered to the political candidates via lobbyists who were reportedly employed by the Fiesta Bowl.

Junker's attorney, Stephen Dichter, has argued that the former bowl director should receive no time behind bars as his client has cooperated with investigators. Dichter also suggested that Junker shouldn't be held culpable because the U.S. Supreme Court has subsequently retracted some of the laws related to the scheme.

“The conduct, yes, was illegal when it was done,” Dichter said. “But it's not illegal anymore, and the amount of [Fiesta Bowl] money is very, very small.”

For more, follow Mike Singer on Twitter @RealMikeSinger.

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