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Federal appellate court upholds ex-mayor's corruption conviction, prison sentence

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HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, New Jersey — A federal appellate court has upheld the corruption conviction of the former mayor of New Jersey's largest suburb and the prison sentence he received.

The ruling made by the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia was made public Wednesday.

Former Hamilton Township Mayor John Bencivengo was convicted in November 2012 of extortion, money laundering and bribery-related counts. He resigned the day after he was convicted and is now serving a 38-month federal prison sentence.

Federal prosecutors said Bencivengo accepted more than $7,000 in bribes from a health insurance broker between May and July 2011. In exchange, he promised to help the broker keep a contract with the township's school district.

Bencivengo's lawyers argued that he didn't have the ability to influence decisions made by the school board.

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