Money launderer sentenced

An Augusta woman has been sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty in September 2009 to devising a money laundering scheme, a statement from U.S. Attorney James Zerhusen said Friday.

As an official at General Cable Corp. in Highlands, Sharon Highlander, 46, initiated the scheme when she gave favorable contracts to Stuart Hartman, the owner of AGEM, the statement said. Highlander hired AGEM to help with information technology support. She then accepted kickbacks from Hartman.

A judge also sentenced Hartman, 49, to 18 months for his participation in the scheme, according to the statement.

Highlander must also pay $709,253.89 in restitution to the cable company. As part of his sentence, Hartman will be held jointly liable for the restitution.

Under federal law, Highlander and Hartman must serve 85 percent of their prison sentences and upon release will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for three years.