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Youngstown man ordered to pay thousands in restitution

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -  A Youngstown man complied with a Mahoning County judge's order to pay the court more than $10,750 dollars in restitution Thursday and was sentenced to one year probation in return.

David Venerose, 42, pleaded guilty to lying under oath to the probate court in a hearing regarding the elderly abuse case of Geraldine Burke. The elderly woman is now deceased.

Prosecutors recommended probation for Venerose if he made a $10,750 restitution payment to Burke's estate at or before his sentencing. Venerose has also agreed to stay current on restitution payments to the elderly woman's estate.

The case involved the guardianship of the Alzheimer's patient and the mishandling of more than $67,000. Authorities say the elderly woman opened a joint account with Venerose where the majority of the money was hers. A lot of the money that was part of the woman's nest egg was spent.

Mahoning County Common Pleas Judge Lou D'Apolitio warned Venerose that if he got in trouble again, or did not live up to his committment, he could be put in jail or even receive prison time.

Venerose apologized to the court during his sentencing.

"I'm totally embarrassed by the situation," he said. "I've never been in trouble before. Again, I'm really sorry."

Venerose also pleaded guilty to passing bad rent checks totaling more than $8,500 dollars to his landlord for a bar he once owned. That case is now expected to be handled through a civil proceeding.

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