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Bail bondsman gets prison time in Va bribery case

Friday - 11/2/2012, 5:04pm  ET

NORFOLK, Va. - A Portsmouth bail bondsman has been sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for bribing a former magistrate who steered clients his way.

Federal prosecutors say 51-year-old Ulysses Stephenson was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Norfolk. He also was sentenced to serve three years of supervised release.

Stephenson pleaded guilty in July to one count of conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery and one count of federal programs bribery.

According to court documents, Stephenson gave cash and gifts to former Portsmouth magistrate Deborah Clark in exchange for referring clients to him and sought his advice for what bail to set for defendants. Clark was sentenced earlier this month to one year and one day in prison.

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