PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A former national sales executive for the company that makes Dr Pepper has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison for defrauding the company of more than $1.7 million.

Federal prosecutors say 53-year-old Michael Lynch, of Newport, Rhode Island, submitted fraudulent invoices to the soft drink maker through a promotions and marketing company he formed in his wife's name. The services billed to and paid for by Dr Pepper were not provided.

Lynch was also sentenced Monday to two years of probation, ordered to pay restitution, and more than $396,000 in taxes on the money that he failed to report as income.

He pleaded guilty in February to wire fraud and filing a false tax return.

Dr Pepper is owned by the Plano, Texas-based Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc.

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