ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–The second of a pair of white collar criminals in the Slay Administration is sentenced to prison for cheating taxpayers out of a half a million dollars through a phony billing scheme.
Thomas Stritzel, 44, the former Chief of the St. Louis Park Rangers, was sentenced to three years in prison on charges that he and Former Deputy Parks Commissioner Joseph Vacca pocketed a total of $472,000 over a seven year period.
The scheme involved submitting false or inflated invoices to the parks department from a phantom company Vacca and Stritzel had set up — Dynamic Management.
With their stolen gains, the pair used the money for vehicles, gasoline and other personal living expenses, according to federal court documents.
Vacca, 58, was sentenced last month to the same prison stretch of 36 months. Both men have also been ordered to make restitution.
The scheme came to light only after federal investigators got wind of it. Mayor Slay has said new safeguards are in place to ensure it won’t happen again.