Micatrotto sentenced to prison time

Micatrotto sentenced to prison time

ST. PAUL Minn. Former Buca Inc. chief executive Joe Micatrotto has been sentenced to 13 months in prison and three years of supervised time for the misappropriation of funds from the company, according to local media reports.

Micatrotto, 54, was also fined $250,000 and ordered to repay Buca, operator of the Buca di Beppo dinnerhouse chain, an additional $65,000. He had already agreed not to serve as an officer of a public company under the settlement of civil charges brought against him. He had consented at that time to pay $565,0000 as part of the settlement, and he agreed to repay Buca $900,000 in cash and forfeited stock options at the time he left the company in 2004.

Two of Micatrotto's former subordinates at Buca were also sentenced in federal court this week. Former chief financial officer Greg Gadel was sentenced to 366 days and three years of supervised release. In addition, the 47-year-old was fined $50,000 and ordered to pay Buca $76,180.

Former controller John Motschenbacher, 43, was given six months of what local news reports termed "community confinement with work release," or modified house arrest. His fine was $25,000 and his court-ordered repayment to Buca was $145,000.

The sentencing ended a scandal that began in 2004 when federal investigators looked into such matters as the title to a villa in Tuscany, Italy, used as a Buca training facility, being listed in Micatrotto's name. He was also accused of using corporate funds for personal matters, including the rehearsal dinner for his son's wedding, and of having a vendor charge the company $65,000 for services and goods that were never rendered, and then taking the money from the supplier to pay off debts relating to a restaurant in which he held a stake.

Micatrotto, Gadel and Motschenbacher pled guilty in June 2006 to fraud charges. Micatrotto was the first executive to be convicted under more stringent laws adopted under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which was passed in the wake of the Enron schedule to protect investors.