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PHOENIX -- A Chandler business owner has been sentenced to more than four years in federal prison for bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Federal prosecutors say 61-year-old Gjergj Kol Mihilli, of Gilbert, received a 51-month prison term and also was ordered to pay more than $302,000 after pleading guilty in the case.

They say Mihilli owned and operated the Mama Mia Panaderia store in Chandler.

Between May 2010 and June 2011, authorities say Mihilli engaged in a check-kiting type scheme by creating thousands of fraudulent money orders for deposit into the company's business account.

Prosecutors say Mihilli used the names of Hollywood celebrities, politicians and professional sports figures on the money orders.

He allegedly created and deposited about 10,000 fake money orders with an aggregate value of more than $10 million.

Associated Press,

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