Whittemore Begins Sentence August 6

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RENO, Nev. (AP) - Former Nevada developer and lobbyist Harvey Whittemore has been ordered to begin serving a two-year prison sentence this summer his illegal campaign contributions to Sen. Harry Reid after a judge concluded his conviction is unlikely to be overturned.

U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks granted federal prosecutors' request Thursday to order Whittemore to report Aug. 6.

Whittemore was convicted last year of violating campaign-spending laws by using family and employees of his billion-dollar real estate company to funnel more than $130,000 to Reid's re-election committee in 2007.

Hicks had delayed the start of his sentence because the U.S. Supreme Court was considering a case with some of the same First Amendment claims Whittemore argues in his 9th Circuit appeal. But the judge says a high-court ruling in April undermines Whittemore's case.