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Union official who blew stolen money at strip clubs sentenced

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former trade union official who spent $65,000 of embezzled union funds at New Jersey strip clubs was sentenced to 28 months in prison on Thursday.

Shawn Clark, 45, was convicted in May after an eight-day trial in Trenton. He was found guilty of 15 criminal counts, one for conspiracy to embezzle and 14 counts of embezzling a total of $85,000 from the a local branch of the International Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners.

Using an American Express card issued for union business, Clark rang up over 450 separate charges at 14 different New Jersey-area "gentlemen's clubs." At one Morristown, New Jersey club, Double D's, Clark made 331 transactions totaling $49,000, including two instances in which he spent over $1,000 during a single visit.

Clark, who was fired from the New Jersey Regional Council of Carpenters in June 2008, also faces three years of supervised release and must pay a still-undermined amount of restitution.

(Reporting by Bernd Debusmann Jr., editing by Greg McCune)