Ex-fi­esta Bowl of­fi­cial pleads guilty to con­spir­acy

The Washington Times Daily - - Nation -

PHOENIX | The for­mer chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer of the Fi­esta Bowl pleaded guilty Thurs­day to a felony fed­eral con­spir­acy charge for her role in a fraud­u­lent cam­paign-con­tri­bu­tion scheme.

Natalie Wis­neski en­tered the plea Thurs­day in U.S. Dis­trict Court in Phoenix and could face up to a year in prison when she is sen­tenced June 16. She also could re­ceive pro­ba­tion.

Prose­cu­tors agreed to dis­miss eight other felony counts as part of the agree­ment. Wis­neski must co­op­er­ate with fed­eral prose­cu­tors and the In­ter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice in con­tin­u­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the bowl scan­dal.

Wis­neski re­signed from her job with the bowl last March and was in­dicted by a fed­eral grand jury in Novem­ber.

Wis­neski’s boss, for­mer Fi­esta Bowl chief John Junker, pleaded guilty to fed­eral charges re­lated to the scheme ear­lier this week. Last month, he en­tered a plea agree­ment with state prose­cu­tors, en­ter­ing a guilty plea to a felony charge stem­ming from a po­lit­i­cal do­na­tions scan­dal that nearly jeop­ar­dized the bowl’s role as a reg­u­lar host of col­lege foot­ball’s na­tional cham­pi­onship game.

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