A former Atlantic City Housing Authority employee — who authorities said stole nearly $300,000 of public money — was sentenced to five years in state prison Friday.

Brian Lewis, 42, of Pleasantville, pleaded guilty in April to 26 counts of official misconduct, theft and tax fraud, acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain said.

Authorities said that beginning in 2009 Lewis, an assistant buyer for the authority, created fake contracting companies and billed the authority for work that was done by other contractors or work that was not done.

He billed almost $290,000 worth of work, authorities said.

Lewis and his wife, Shellie Williams, 40, were also indicted on three counts of filing fraudulent tax returns and three counts of failure to pay state taxes for not paying $36,000 in unpaid taxes for income they did not report.

The charges against Williams were dismissed after she filed amended tax returns.

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Senior copy editor for the Press of Atlantic City. Have worked as a reporter, copy editor and news editor with the paper since 1985. A graduate of the University of Delaware.