Former top Missouri Democrat sentenced to federal prison

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A former prosecutor and chairman of Missouri’s Democratic Party has been sentenced to two years and three months in federal prison for misusing campaign funds for personal expenses and vacations.

Mike Sanders also was ordered Wednesday to forfeit $40,000. He pleaded guilty earlier this year conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Sanders had been on a trajectory to run for statewide or congressional office before resigning two years ago as head of Jackson County government. In his guilty plea, Sanders acknowledged converting $62,000 in political campaign funds into cash in a check-cashing scheme involving a disabled friend from high school.

While some of that cash went for political purposes, Sanders admitted using $15,000 to $40,000 of the cashed checks for personal use. Sanders will begin serving his sentence Nov. 5.

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