Reno businessman Stickler gets 2.5 years prison for tax evasion, faith-based fraud

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RENO, Nevada — A 54-year-old Reno businessman convicted of tax evasion and defrauding the U.S. government out of $200,000 in grants intended for charities has been sentenced to 2.5 years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Miranda Du also ordered Michael Stickler on Tuesday to pay more than $300,000 in restitution, do 100 hours of community service and serve three years' probation upon his release.

Stickler pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion and was convicted of one count of theft of government property last year in a case involving grants obtained through a faith-based initiative.

Among other things, prosecutors said Stickler spent $13,000 on a monthlong Hawaiian vacation. He faced up to 10 years in prison, but lawyers on both sides agreed he deserved credit for his otherwise "strong character" and history of charitable giving.

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