Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Former employee pleads guilty to stealing from fitness guru Tony Little

Mark Schreiber, right, a former bookkeeper for fitness guru Tony Little, shakes hands Monday with his attorney, Donald Anderson III, after pleading guilty to grand theft.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times

Mark Schreiber, right, a former bookkeeper for fitness guru Tony Little, shakes hands Monday with his attorney, Donald Anderson III, after pleading guilty to grand theft.

LARGO — A bookkeeper hired to look over the finances of television fitness personality Tony Little admitted on Monday that he did more than look.

Mark Schreiber, 52, pleaded guilty to grand theft for dipping into Little's business accounts and writing himself more than 150 checks.

He was sentenced to three years in prison, followed by 10 years of probation. A lien will be placed against him for the amount he admitted to stealing, $658,456.28. He also must receive treatment for gambling addiction.

Little, an energetic workout man known for his ponytail and upbeat promotions of fitness products, did not appear in the courtroom to see his former employee led off toward jail. But he was pleased with the outcome, said Latour "L.T." Lafferty, an attorney for Little.

"It's been a long haul and a trying time for Mr. Little, and he's glad it's resolved," Lafferty said. Referring to Schreiber's guilty plea, Lafferty added, "the best thing is to be vindicated and have them publicly admit this."

The plea avoids what could have been a highly publicized trial, because of Little's celebrity.

Asked if Little had wanted to avoid such a trial, Lafferty said, "nothing could be further from the truth." He said Little was prepared to testify against Schreiber, if the trial had gone off as scheduled this week.

Assistant State Attorney Greg Groger said afterward that "it's a fair sentence and the victim was happy with it. It avoids a trial and results in (Schreiber's) incarceration, which he deserved."

Schreiber made the plea as part of an agreement with prosecutors. He did not make a statement to the court, other than to answer some standard questions from Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Cynthia Newton. During those questions he said he was making the plea "based on it being in the best interest" of himself.

Defense attorney Donald C. Anderson III said he was ready to take the case to trial as scheduled this week, but said the sentence was a good one for his client, considering he faced a maximum of 30 years in prison. This sentence means Schreiber will be able to return from prison and spend time with his wife and six children, he said.

Schreiber, a former controller for various companies founded by Little, was arrested last year by Pinellas Park police. He reportedly told officers at the time that he was heavily involved in online horse wagering, and Groger on Monday said it was clear that much of Schreiber's money went to gambling.

Although Little did not appear Monday, he made his feelings known in a deposition.

"I would wish to see him spend time for his crime," Little told attorneys.

Former employee pleads guilty to stealing from fitness guru Tony Little 09/10/12 [Last modified: Monday, September 10, 2012 11:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Miscue sends Rays to another stinging loss to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays gave away DJ Kitty onesies on Saturday night. Then they gave away the game.

    Centerfielder Mallex Smith misses a drive hit by Adrian Beltre with two outs in the sixth, allowing the tying runs to score. Beltre put Texas ahead 4-3 when he scored after two wild pitches.
  2. Rowdies shut out Charleston

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rowdies know a thing or two about stalemates, with five of their past 10 games ending in a draw. And Saturday night against Charleston, it seemed as if they were staring down yet another frustratingly familiar fate.

    Rowdies in the first half during the game between Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Charleston Battery at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, Jul 22, 2017.
  3. 13-year-old Janessa's father holds memorial service at Rogers Middle School

    Crime

    RIVERVIEW — About 100 people sat in the tile-floored multipurpose room Saturday at Rodgers Middle School where Janessa Shannon once sat as a student.

    A mourner embraces Nahshon Shannon after the memorial service for Nahshon’s daughter, Janessa, Saturday at Rodgers Middle School in Riverview.
  4. Trump: Aircraft carrier a symbol of America's might (w/video)

    Politics

    NORFOLK, Va. — With praise and a blessing for the military, President Donald Trump helped hand over the USS Gerald R. Ford to the Navy on Saturday and said the state-of-the-art aircraft carrier will send a "100,000-ton message to the world" about America's military might when it is ultimately deployed.

    President Donald Trump commissions the USS Gerald R. Ford on Saturday in Norfolk, Va.
  5. Kushner discloses additional $10M in assets

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner "inadvertently omitted" more than 70 assets worth at least $10.6 million from his personal financial disclosure reports, according to revised paperwork released Friday.

    Kushner