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. Tampa man driving ATV killed in Gibsonton crash on U.S. 41

    Public Safety

    GIBSONTON — A 24-year-old man driving an all-terrain vehicle died Monday afternoon in a crash on U.S. 41, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

  2. Questions about Russia chase Trump during first Israel visit

    World

    JERUSALEM — President Donald Trump solemnly placed a note in the ancient stones of Jerusalem's Western Wall on Monday, sending a signal of solidarity to an ally he's pushing to work harder toward peace with the Palestinians. But his historic gesture- and his enthusiastic embrace of Israel's leader - were shadowed …

    President Donald Trump shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after making joint statements, Monday in Jerusalem. [AP photo]
  3. Data breach exposes 469 Social Security numbers, thousands of concealed weapons holders

    Corporate

    Social Security numbers for up to 469 people and information about thousands of concealed weapons holders were exposed in a data breach at Florida the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The breach, which the agency believes happened about two weeks ago, occurred in an online payments system, spokesperson …

    Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam on Monday that nearly 500 people may have had their Social Security numbers obtained in a data breach in his office.
[Times file photo]

  4. Trigaux: Can Duke Energy Florida's new chief grow a business when customers use less power?

    Energy

    Let's hope Harry Sideris has a bit of Harry Houdini in him.

    Duke Energy Florida president Harry Sideris laid out his prioriities for the power company ranging from improved customer service to the use of more large-scale solar farms to provide electricity. And he acknowledged a critical challenge: People are using less electricity these days. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  5. Editorial: Preserve wild Florida before it's too late

    Editorials

    The last dairy farm in Hillsborough County has milked its final cow, the pastures sold to developers who will build 1,000 new homes. The remnants of the last commercial citrus grove in Pinellas County, where the Sunshine State's famed industry began in the 19th century, were sold last year to make room for 136 homes. …

    As dairy farms and citrus groves disappear, much more needs to be done to avoid paving over Florida’s wild spaces.