Convicted ex-Duane Reade executive spared prison

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 06, 2011 4:43 PM
Convicted ex-Duane Reade executive spared prison

By Grant McCool

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former Duane Reade executive was spared prison time by a judge on Tuesday for his conviction of securities fraud at the prominent New York drug store chain between 2000 and 2005.

William Tennant, a former Duane Reade vice president and financial executive, was sentenced to time served and supervised release of three years plus a fine of $10,000 by U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts in Manhattan.

During the sentencing proceeding, Tennant, 64, who is retired, told the judge that he took "full responsibility" for his actions. He described how he "cooperated to my fullest ability" in the 3-year-long legal process, ending his statement with: "Please don't send me to jail."

After imposing the sentence, Batts explained to Tennant's lawyer, John Kenney, that "time served" referred to the brief period that Tennant was jailed following his arrest and filing of charges in 2008.

Drugstore operator Walgreen Co bought Duane Reade last year from the private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners. Prosecutors said Oak Hill was given a false evaluation of Duane Reade when it bought the chain in 2004 for $614 million.

Last month, former Duane Reade Chief Executive Officer Anthony Cuti was sentenced to three years in prison after he was convicted of securities fraud, conspiracy and making false statements in filings to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

U.S. prosecutors charged Cuti and Tennant in 2008 with falsely inflating the chain's income and lowering expenses between 2000 and 2005. Both were convicted by a jury in Manhattan federal court in June 2010.

The case is USA v Cuti et al, U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York, No. 08-00972.

(Reporting by Grant McCool; Editing by Richard Chang)