|The Centre Daily Times, State College,
Pa.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
March 4, 2009 --WILLIAMSPORT -- A former telecommunications analyst for Shaner Hotel Group in State College will spend eight months in prison in a kickback scheme that netted him more than $100,000.
James O. Romines, 49, of Milroy, was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. Middle District Senior Judge Malcolm Muir, who placed him on two years of supervised release that begins after his jail term.
Romines, who had pleaded guilty in August to a mail fraud charge, was permitted to remain free until Monday.
Romines, hired in 1999, was responsible for all communications, including telephone and high-speed Internet service, for Shaner properties, interacting with vendors and obtaining bids for new communications equipment and services.
One of the vendors he hired for Shaner was Logan Communications Inc., of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which also has pleaded guilty to mail fraud.
Mark Long, an executive with Logan Communications, admitted when he entered the plea on behalf of the company that it paid kickbacks to Romines so it could continue to do work for Shaner.
Shaner, whose properties include Toftrees Golf Resort and Conference Center, was unaware of the scheme that ran between December 2005 and September 2007, the government says.
According to court documents, Romines received kickbacks totaling $113,966 through a fictitious rebate scheme.
Logan Communications is scheduled to be sentenced later this month.
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