Ex-Michigan St. star Jay Vincent going to prison

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Former NBA player and Michigan State star Jay Vincent has been sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison and ordered to pay more than $110,000 in restitution to the IRS for his part in a fraud scheme.

The 52-year-old Vincent received the sentence Friday in federal court in Grand Rapids. He pleaded guilty to fraud and tax charges.

The government says he and an associate defrauded 20,000 people out of about $1 million by charging them to become certified home inspectors.

Prosecutors recommended nine years in prison. U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker sentenced Vincent to 68 months.

Former NBA star Magic Johnson wrote a letter to the judge asking for “mercy” for Vincent, calling his former college roommate “incredibly remorseful.”

Johnson and Vincent played on Michigan State’s 1979 national championship team.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.