June 10, 2009

Former Bears fullback draws probation

Former Chicago Bears fullback Roland Harper has been sentenced to 2 years probation for his conviction on contract fraud.

Harper pleaded guilty last year to pretending to be a minority owner in order to help a white-owned business obtain public contracts set aside for minority firms, the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday.

The company in question was owned by Harper's co-defendant Aidan Monahan.

Monahan is accused of cheating the Chicago Public Schools out of $1.5 million in landscaping contracts in a scheme that netted Harper $80,000.

In sentencing Harper to probation, U.S. District Judge John Darrah said Monahan played a more central role in the scheme.

The judge also noted that Harper cooperated with the government as soon as he was confronted and was willing to wear a wire.

Harper had asked for leniency in part so he could spend as much time as possible with his 26-year-old son who has cerebral palsy.