Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ex-employee accused of stealing $600,000 from fitness guru Tony Little

PINELLAS PARK — Personal fitness guru Tony Little made a fortune hawking workout products. The St. Petersburg resident's companies have made millions, and Little's frequent TV appearances and infomercials have made the ponytailed bodybuilder famous.

Now a former employee is accused of stealing nearly $600,000 from "America's personal trainer," as Little calls himself.

Mark Schreiber, 50, of St. Petersburg was arrested Friday on a charge of grand theft of $100,000 or more. Pinellas Park police didn't say what happened to the missing money, but Schrei­ber told investigators that he was heavily involved in online horse wagering.

"We're certainly going to pursue any legal avenues to recover every cent that was taken from Mr. Little," said his attorney, Latour "L.T." Lafferty. "It doesn't impact the financial well-being of Mr. Little. But certainly it's a significant blow and a serious breach of Mr. Schreiber's place as controller of his business operations."

Little realized something was amiss last year, according to court records, when he moved to fire Schreiber as a controller overseeing his Pinellas Park companies' finances. He was dissatisfied with Schreiber, records show. He set up a July 27, 2010, meeting.

But before they could meet, Schreiber sent an e-mail: "I quit."

After Little's new accountant starting finding financial discrepancies, a complaint was filed with Pinellas Park police. According to court records, a forensic accountant discovered that the fraud started in August 2009. In the next 11 months, records show, 152 checks were fraudulently drawn from three of Little's holdings — Health International Corp., PHP5 and — for a total of $583,379. Most of it, according to records, went into bank accounts controlled by Schreiber.

Little said his name was forged on all those checks.

Police said Schreiber avoided discovery by opening online banking accounts for Little's companies and stopping the mailing of bank statements, which were being reviewed by other employees.

Schreiber told police that Little signed each check. He said Little was paying him back for the money Schreiber loaned him from his "gambling winnings," according to records. Schreiber stated on a 2010 tax form that he won $400,767 on, which allows online gambling on horse races all over the world.

Schreiber was released from the Pinellas County Jail on Monday after posting $150,000 bail. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge. A judge appointed a public defender to represent him.

That happens when a defendant says he cannot afford an attorney.

Reach Jamal Thalji at or (727) 893-8472.

Ex-employee accused of stealing $600,000 from fitness guru Tony Little 04/27/11 [Last modified: Thursday, April 28, 2011 4:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jones: Serena Williams, and all women, deserved better from John McEnroe


    John McEnroe might be the best sports analyst in broadcasting.

    Serena Williams makes a backhand return to her sister Venus during the women's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in January in  Melbourne, Australia. [AP photo]
  2. Watch: Provocateur targets CNN producer with hidden camera video


    NEW YORK —A conservative provocateur posted a video Tuesday of a man identified as a CNN producer commenting on his network's coverage of President Donald Trump and connections to Russia.

    Anthony Scaramucci, a senior adviser to President-elect Donald Trump, talks to reporters in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. [Associated Press]
  3. Protesters demand Confederate statue be moved from old Hillsborough courthouse


    TAMPA – Politicians, clergy and community leaders demanded Tuesday that the Hillsborough County commission reverse course and remove a Confederate monument from the old county courthouse.

    (From left) Mike Reed, Kristen Perry and Dayna Lazarus hold protest signs Tuesday in front of a Confederate monument on the grounds of Hillsborough County's old courthouse. Protesters want the statue removed. ALESSANDRA DA PRA   Times]
  4. Man charged with threatening Florida lawmaker on Facebook


    From The Associated Press:

    MIAMI — A Florida man has been charged with threatening to kill a state legislator in a Facebook post. 

    This booking photo released by the Miami-Dade Police Department shows Steve St. Felix, who has been charged with threatening to kill Republican state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz in a Facebook post.
  5. Joe Maddon: What my time in Tampa Bay meant, and still means, to me

    The Heater

    Editor's note: The Rays next week in Chicago will meet up for the first time with former manager Joe Maddon, who is in his third year leading the Cubs after nine with the Rays. In advance of the Tuesday-Wednesday series, we asked Maddon to share his thoughts in a column on what his time in Tampa Bay meant to …

    Joe Maddon waits to greet B.J. Upton after Upton's home run in Game 2 of the ALCS in 2008 at Tropicana Field. [Times files (2008)]