YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - A man who pleaded guilty to perjury for lying to the probate court about mishandling the money of an elderly Alzheimer's patient is avoiding prison time.
David Venerose was sentenced to one year of probation after abiding by the judge's order and paying more than $10,000 in restitution to the estate of an elderly woman.
But Judge Lou D'Apolito made it clear that if Venerose doesn't live up to his payment arrangements, to continue paying back more than $67,000 in total, he still could be sent to jail.
David Venerose complied with a Mahoning County judge's order and paid the court $10,750 in restitution before he received his sentence.
Venerose received one-year probation after pleading guilty to perjury.
He admits he lied under oath to the probate court in a hearing regarding the elderly abuse case of Alzheimer's patient Geraldine Burke. The elderly woman is now deceased.
"I'm sorry about all this your honor. And I've just totally been embarrassed by the situation and I've never been in trouble before. I'm just very sorry," Venerose said during the trial.
Prosecutors say Venerose was able to convince the elderly woman to open a joint bank account with him with money she had as her nest egg.
Authorities say Venerose used the money intended for the woman's care for his own purposes.
Now he will have to continue making payments toward restitution totaling more than $67,000.
A great nephew of the elderly woman says he just hopes Venerose has learned his lesson after taking advantage of a generous woman who placed her trust in him.
Venerose has also pled guilty to passing bad checks amounting to more than $8,000 in an unrelated case.