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Ex-Isles ‘owner’ Spano indicted for theft, forgery


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John Spano, the disgraced former owner of the New York Islanders, has been indicted by a grand jury in Ohio on 45 counts -- of of theft, and 44 of forgery.

More, from Newsday:

Spano, 50, was arrested Aug. 21 and pleaded not guilty to accusations that he forged dozens of contracts and pocketed the commissions over a two-year span while working as a medical supplies salesman for an Ohio-based company.

He posted a $50,000 bond and was released the same day. The case is assigned to judge Joseph Gibson, who has not yet set the next court date. Spano did not respond to messages left at his house or on his cell phone.

“We are aware that he has two prior federal convictions that resulted in federal prison terms that had charges of a deceptive nature,” said Alexandra Kutz, a Lake County, Ohio, assistant prosecuting attorney who is working on the Spano case.

Prosecutors allege in court papers obtained by Newsday that Spano stole a total of between $7,500 and $150,000 from his employers: Image First, which rents linens to outpatient facilities in Northeast Ohio, and its sister company London Cleaners.

The alleged scheme took place from June 2011 until July 2013, according to the documents.

In 1997, Spano was outed for his fraudulent purchase of the Islanders from then-owner John Pickett -- in addition to false claims that his estate was worth $230 million, Spano admitted he lied to obtain an $80 million loan to buy the team.

The Isles were eventually returned to Pickett, and Spano was sentenced to 71 months in prison for bank fraud. In 2006, Spano found himself back in legal hot water when he was sentenced to 51 months in prison for a different fraud case.