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IBF Founder Sentenced to Two Years in Prison

February 15, 2001|Associated Press

NEWARK, N.J. — Robert Lee, the International Boxing Federation founder, was sentenced to almost two years in prison Wednesday for money laundering and tax evasion.

Lee also was fined $25,000, and settled a related government lawsuit Wednesday by agreeing to a lifetime ban from boxing and to pay the IBF $50,000 in compensation.

Lee had been charged with taking bribes from boxing promoters and managers in return for favors that included regularly rigging the rankings of one of the world's major sanctioning organizations.

But a federal jury in August rejected those allegations, developed during a four-year undercover FBI investigation, convicting Lee on six of the 33 felony charges he faced.

Prosecutors contended that Lee, 67, made bribery part of his operation almost as soon as he organized the IBF in 1983 after failing to be elected leader of the World Boxing Assn., another sanctioning body.

The IBF has a new president and continues operating under the scrutiny of a court-appointed monitor.

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