Ex-parks Official in St. Louis Sentence

Posted: Dec 19, 2013 2:33 PM by The Associated Press

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ST. LOUIS (AP) - The former deputy commissioner of the St. Louis Parks Division has been sentenced to three years in prison for defrauding the city out of nearly $500,000.

Joseph Vacca was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court. He must also pay restitution of $472,722.26.

Vacca and Thomas Stritzel, former chief of the St. Louis Park Rangers, pleaded guilty to mail fraud in September. Stritzel faces sentencing Jan. 27.

Federal prosecutors say that from 2005 through 2012, Vacca and Stritzel embezzled funds by submitting sham and false invoices.

City officials say they have tightened controls on the procurement process.

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