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Nathan Dusek

Former Chicone's manager sentenced to prison

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A man who scammed hundreds of thousands of dollars as manager of a Hudson liquor store has been sentenced to prison.

Nathan Michael Dusek, 39, Knapp, will serve two years, six months in prison and five years extended supervision following his sentencing hearing Friday, May 4 on conviction of felony theft in a business setting.

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Dusek was convicted of stealing $381,284.75 while employed at Chicone's Liquor Mart over a 10-year period. The criminal complaint said between Aug. 25, 2002 and Nov. 9, 2010, Dusek falsely recorded returns of large quantities of beer and took cash for those returns from store funds.

Defense Attorney Mark Gherty argued for a sentencing to include 11 months in jail and an extended probation time. "He is married and has a family to support and made one major mistake. Is it forgivable?" asked Gherty.

Prosecutor Frank Collins called for two years in prison and extended supervision. "He had full control of the business and the till and complete trust of the owner. He repudiated that trust and surreptitiously was stealing the owner blind," Collins argued.

The pre-sentence investigation recommended six months incarceration, probation and restitution.

Collins called the PSI recommendations, "social work babble," that "lacked real insight of what he did."

Judge Scott R. Needham, in handing down the sentence said, "This is much, much, much, more than a money crime. It is a crime of trust violation...a theft that extended over 10 years."

"Probation would depreciate the seriousness of the crime. It requires punishment," the judge said.

For more information, including comments from store owner Rick Chicone, see the May 10 edition of the Star-Observer.

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