VIRGINIA

Meseret Terefe, former parking attendant, sentenced for theft

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - A former museum parking lot attendant who stole nearly half a million dollars in parking fees has been sentenced to a year and 8 months in federal prison.

Thirty-seven-year-old Meseret Terefe of Silver Spring, Md., was sentenced Friday in federal court in Alexandria. He was also ordered to pay back the $487,000 he stole.

Terefe worked at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum annex in northern Virginia. Federal prosecutors say he pocketed parking fees over a period of nearly three years and gave some of the stolen money to a supervisor after that person found out about the scheme.

Terefe was one of two former parking lot attendants who pleaded guilty to pocketing more than $400,000. The other, Freweyni Mebrahtu, is scheduled to be sentenced in February.

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