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NEW ORLEANS, La. A federal court has denied former Gretna City Councilman Jonathan Bolar's appeal.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Bolar's conviction and sentence Tuesday. Bolar has been serving a 17-year sentence since August 2010.

A federal jury in April 2010 found Bolar demanded cash payments in exchange for supporting constituents' residential and business projects before the city council. He also was convicted of twice selling a Gretna property he no longer owned.

Bolar was convicted of 13 counts of extortion, attempted extortion, wire fraud, failing to file income tax returns and structuring bank transactions to avoid requirements that the Internal Revenue Service be notified.

U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said the appellate judge found that Bolar's case was 'properly tried' and that the sentence 'was justified.'

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