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updated: 4/7/2013 7:44 AM

2 businessmen convicted of fraud for security minority work contracts

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Associated Press

Two businessmen have been convicted of fraud after prosecutors say they tried to secure minority contracts.

According to testimony, 43-year-old Matthew Giovenco of Grayslake and 66-year-old Guy Potter of Versailles, Ky. hired a black student and his mother to act as fronts for ICS Cable. They secured subcontracts from RCN Cable, which was required by the city of Chicago to give business to women or minority-owned contractors.

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The Chicago Sun-Times reports during the federal court trial, defense attorneys tried to pin the fraud on the mother, Cherrone Mayes. They alleged she hatched the scheme and then cooperated with the government.

But prosecutors say Mayes made $17,000 from the scheme, while Potter made $1.3 million and Giovenco made $800,000.

The two each face up to 20 years in prison.

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