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A judge today spared disbarred local lawyer Don Bergevin a jail term but fined him $13,000 and said he's convinced the former lawyer and his former Williamsville business associates conspired against federal tax collectors.

State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia, with no complaints from the Erie County district attorney's office, set aside his May 4 verdict that Bergevin, 47, was guilty of felony crimes against the N.V. Electronics concern of Williamsville.

The judge reduced his conviction to misdemeanor offenses of petit larceny and falsifying business records and placed him on probation for the next three years.

Buscaglia ordered Bergevin, who was disbarred two months ago because of the criminal case, to pay the $13,000 fine within the next six months and perform 1,000 hours of community service work over the next three years.

Bergevin, a former Williamsville resident long active in Buffalo criminal and civil cases and now living in Machias, admitted he was guilty of what he called "errors of judgment" while working as attorney-bookkeeper for N.V. Electronics from 1994 through mid-1996, but insisted he never personally benefited from his actions.

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