John C. "Jack" Bodziak, the former operator of the Jannus Landing concert venue in downtown St. Petersburg, is going to prison.
Bodziak was sentenced to one year and nine months in prison on charges of grand theft and worthless checks, most of which stemmed from his failure to pay sales tax to the state Department of Revenue.
After that, he will spend 20 years on probation, and during that time he must work to pay off more than $125,000 of his debt.
Donald C. Anderson III, Bodziak's attorney, said Bodziak was remorseful about the crime and demonstrated his remorse by pleading guilty to the charges.
He said the probation portion of the sentence will give Bodziak "an opportunity to do what he's wanted to do all along and pay the money back."
Anderson said Bodziak's problems began when the faltering economy hurt his business and he struggled to keep it afloat.
Assistant State Attorney Greg Groger argued for a four-year prison sentence, pointing out that Bodziak passed some of the worthless checks while he was out on bail on the grand theft charge.
Bodziak, 37, was accused last year of defrauding taxpayers out of $250,165 in sales tax he should have paid from his concert venue and bars. Then he was charged with bouncing eight more checks worth $45,200, with five of the checks written after his first arrest.
Curtis Krueger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8232