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N.C. man gets 7 years for natural gas fraud

The Associated Press

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GREENVILLE — A former energy trader from Fayetteville has been sentenced to seven years in prison for bank fraud and wire fraud.

The Fayetteville Observer reported that 51-year-old Paul Lawing also was ordered to pay $27 million in restitution.

The newspaper reported Lawing's natural gas brokerage collapsed in 2005, leaving $70 million in debt.

He had pleaded guilty in November and was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Greenville.

Lawing apologized to his former wife and his friends, associates and former employees at National Gas Distributors.

U.S. District Judge Malcolm Howard also ordered Lawing to serve five years of supervised release when he gets out of prison.

Lawing had founded the company in 2001 to distribute natural gas to institutional customers such as factories and government agencies.

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