Miami--One federal corrections officer has been sentenced to five years in prison for helping an inmate run a $9 million jewelry scheme from behind bars.  
U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke handed the sentence down Wednesday to Michael Mazar, 39, who worked at the Federal Detention Center in Miami.

He also was ordered to pay nearly $9 million in restitution.

According to court documents, Mazar provided cell phones to inmate James Sabatino, who used them to run a multi-million dollar jewelry fraud scheme from inside his cell.

Using the contraband phones, Sabatino created several email addresses and began contacting “luxury store employees and brand representatives” via telephone calls, emails and text messages.

He pretended to be an employee of various entertainment industry companies and asked them to either send watches, jewelry, clothing and handbags to various locations or make them available for pick-up by his co-conspirators so they could be used in music videos, film productions and promotional materials.

He convinced more than six luxury jewelry companies to send jewelry, but rather than being used in any videos, they were sold at pawn shops, jewelry stores and elsewhere.

Court documents state Mazar not only provided the cell phones to run the scheme between February and April 2017, but also used the fraud proceeds to purchase eyeglasses, headphones and fast food for Sabatino, agreed to store money and jewelry at his house and traveled to Atlanta, along with other co-conspirators, on behalf of Sabatino to sell jewelry that had been obtained through the fraud.

He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud for his role in the scheme in March.

Sabatino pleaded guilty in September 2017 in federal court to charges of RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations), mail/wire fraud and interstate transportation of stolen property.

He is now serving a 20-year sentence.

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