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Man avoids prison in Corner Pub theft

February 25, 2009|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN -- A man convicted Dec. 3, 2008, of theft over $500 for stealing $239,190 from The Corner Pub between Sept. 17, 2004, and Nov. 13, 2007, will not spend any time in prison if he pays restitution and successfully completes unsupervised probation.

Craig Spriggs, 50, who lives on Edward Doub Road, was a bookkeeper at The Corner Pub for eight years, the establishment's co-owner has told The Herald-Mail. In April 2008, co-owner Darryl Sword said Spriggs' employment at The Corner Pub had ended about four months earlier.

Judge Frederick C. Wright III, sitting in Washington County Circuit Court, sentenced Spriggs to 15 years in prison, the maximum penalty, but suspended the sentence.

"The number one effort here is restitution," Wright said.

Spriggs also must serve five years of unsupervised probation.

Spriggs has paid $80,000 in restitution, but still must pay back $159,190. Wright ordered Spriggs to pay the victims $3,300 each month until the money is paid back in full.

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"This is tearing their family apart. They're doing everything that they can," defense attorney James Gitomer said after consulting with Spriggs and Spriggs' father about the payment plan.

Spriggs had been working at Wal-Mart as a produce stocker, but lost that job when his employer found out about the conviction, Gitomer said.

The judge denied Gitomer's request for probation before judgment, which would have prevented the conviction from appearing on Spriggs' record if he successfully completed probation.

"He ought to have to say yes" when employers ask Spriggs if he has a criminal record, Wright said.

But Wright acknowledged Spriggs might have a hard time finding employment.

"I don't think any employer would consider someone who has shown such a breach of trust to someone who was a prior employer," Wright said.

Gitomer could file a motion for reconsideration about the probation before judgment, Wright said.

Spriggs declined to say anything before he was sentenced.

Spriggs also must pay $1,005 in court costs by the end of this week, Wright ordered.

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