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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A former Price Chopper store manager was sentenced in federal court here to 30 months in prison last week for taking part in a scheme to defraud such food companies as Tropicana and ConAgra, according to published reports.
Gerald A. Brown, who once worked at a Price Chopper in Grandview, Mo., additionally received a fine of $7,500 and was ordered to pay $76,155 in restitution. He pleaded guilty in September to a single count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, noting that he used his job as store manager to cash checks that he and four accomplices at a food brokerage business illegally received from food companies. The conspiracy began in 1983 and ended in April 2002.
The conspirators sent fake paperwork to the companies, asking to be recompensed for lost or damaged goods. According to the false claims, the money was to go to Ball Food Stores. When the companies cut checks and mailed them to Ball Food Stores, the conspirators intercepted the checks and cashed them through Brown.
His accomplices have each been sentenced to five years' probation. Three were fined $3,000, while one was ordered to pay $66,414 in restitution.