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Vending company official admits role in conspiracy


NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say the former principal of a New Jersey-based vending company has admitted his role in a scheme that defrauded the Pepsi Bottling Group of $2.9 million over a 10-year period.

Joseph Belasco of Cedar Grove pleaded guilty Wednesday to a complaint charging him with conspiring with two others to provide a false 2008 IRS 1099 form for consulting services that were never performed. He faces five years in prison when he’s sentenced on Feb. 25, 2014.

The 62-year-old Belasco will also pay the company $1 million in restitution.

Pepsi Bottling Group is owned by Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo Inc.