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.

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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.

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

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