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Korbut's son sentenced to 3 1/2 years

Posted: Tuesday November 19, 2002 1:27 AM

ATLANTA (AP) -- The son of Olympic gymnastics star Olga Korbut was sentenced Monday to almost 3 1/2 years in federal custody for making $20,000 in counterfeit money.

Richard Bortkevich, 23, pleaded guilty in September. He could have been sentenced to seven years in prison. Part of the sentence could include federal boot camp.

"Your mother paid an awful lot of dues to become an Olympic gold medal winner," U.S. District Judge J. Owen Forrester told Bortkevich. "If you pay those dues, you'll turn out a winner, too."

Korbut was not in court, but she sent a letter supporting her son.

Forrester also ordered Bortkevich to repay almost $5,000 to two stores where he passed phony bills. He also could be deported.

The native of Belarus admitted using a computer to make the money. A deputy sheriff found fake $100 bills at his family's suburban Atlanta home in December while attempting to serve eviction papers to Korbut's former husband, Leonid Bortkevich.

The younger Bortkevich's self-described bodyguard, Samuel Todor, also faces counterfeiting charges.

Korbut, a native of the former Soviet republic of Belarus, won four gold medals in 1972 and 1976 Olympics.

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