News

Restaurant owner to state prison for stealing couple's $315K

Written by The Associated Press | Nov 29, 2016 9:58 AM

(Pottsville) -- A Pennsylvania restaurant owner must spend 18 months to five years in prison for stealing $315,000 from a mentally disabled couple.

Schuylkill County prosecutors believe 46-year-old Alfonso Picone spent the cash receipts from his La Dolce Casa restaurant to feed a gambling addiction, then stole from the couple to replenish those funds.

The restaurant is based in Tamaqua, whose residents turned out in force at Picone's Monday sentencing, describing him as a charitable pillar of the community.

Picone's attorney, Ross Martin, asked the judge to consider house arrest or probation saying, ``What happens to Mr. Picone happens to Tamaqua.''

But Deputy Attorney General Michelle Laucella says Picone's crimes were ``cold and calculated'' and saying he took advantage of the elderly victims.

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