EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

March 9, 2013

Plaistow businessman jailed for stealing $200K

Former club treasurer took some $200K

BRENTWOOD — Local businessman Alan Colby was one of Plaistow’s first Eagle Scouts, according to his attorney.

But that was decades ago — long before the 52-year-old stole approximately $200,000 from the Plaistow Fish and Game Club.

Colby, the club’s former treasurer, was led off to the county jail for a year yesterday after being sentenced on six theft charges by Rockingham Superior Court Judge Kenneth McHugh. A jury convicted Colby in January of stealing $104,270 from the club after repaying nearly $100,000 more.

Colby also received a five- to 10-year suspended state prison sentence after his attorney, public defender Anthony Naro, told McHugh his client was an outstanding member of the community with “an unblemished history.”

“Alan Colby is a person who always wanted to help people,” Naro said. “I haven’t even seen a speeding ticket (in his record).”

He handed McHugh a list of Plaistow’s past Eagle Scouts, including Colby.

“What it speaks of is who Alan Colby is,” Naro said.

But Colby violated the Boy Scout oath when he embezzled money from the club between July 2008 and July 2010 to help his struggling construction company, Senter Brothers.

McHugh did not say whether Colby’s status as a Eagle Scout persuaded him to only give the defendant a year in jail. Prosecutor Stephanie Johnson recommended two and a half to seven years in state prison in addition to the suspended sentence.

Under state law, Colby could have received seven and a half to 15 years in prison on each of the felony theft charges.

McHugh did agree with Naro that Colby shouldn’t automatically be sent to state prison unless he violates the terms of his five-year probation.

“We do not believe that sending him to prison is a just and fair punishment,” Naro said.

But the judge rejected Naro’s request that Colby be allowed out on work release.

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