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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A contractor in charge of running a pre-K program for children with special needs will be spending time behind bars after pocketing government money intended for the running of special education pre-K programs.

As WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported, Cheon Park begged for mercy and a second chance to be a better person as he faced sentencing for taking the $2.5 million for himself instead of the programs.

Park has paid back most of the money and said he’s truly sorry, Cornell reported.

But federal judge Paul Oetken pointed out the crime was not a brief lapse in judgment as there were multiple schemes that lasted seven years.

Park was sentenced to two years in a federal prison, Cornell reported.

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