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Former Verizon worker sent to prison in fraud case

ATLANTA (AP) — Authorities say a former Verizon Wireless employee has been sentenced to prison after federal officials say he ordered nearly $2.8 million in equipment for the firm and then sold it out of his Georgia home.

Prosecutors say 62-year-old Michael W. Baxter of Ball Ground used the proceeds to buy cars, jewelry and cosmetic surgeries for his girlfriend.

Baxter was sentenced to four years in prison after he was convicted of wire fraud.

Authorities say Baxter ordered the communications equipment from Cisco Systems over a decade when he was employed as a Verizon network engineer. U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said Baxter then funded a lavish lifestyle.

Baxter was also ordered to pay $2.3 million in restitution to Cisco Systems and $462,828 to Verizon.