Mesa man sentenced to 3 years for fraud

PHOENIX (AP) - A federal judge has sentenced a 37-year-old man to three years in prison for credit card processing fraud.

IRS agents say Sean Mecham of Mesa forged signatures and created false documents in an elaborate scheme to steal from small business owners. Mecham served as the CEO of a Mesa-based company that provided credit card processing services.

Authorities say Mecham directed employees to forge customer signatures on lease contracts while at the same time withholding employee payroll taxes that should have gone to the IRS. They say Mecham then used the employee withholdings to live a lavish lifestyle that included expensive cars and off-road vehicles.

Mecham previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and failing to pay taxes.