Scuba shop owner gets year in prison for grand theft

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Posted by on March 23, 2006 at 19:02:42:

HIGH SPRINGS Charged with felony counts that could have resulted in up to 35 years in prison, a plea agreement got Barry Miller one year and a day in prison instead.

Miller, a 44-year-old High Springs man, was charged with first and third degree grand theft and trafficking after stealing over $100,000 worth of scuba diving equipment from his previous employers, Halcyon Manufacturing, and using it to start his own diving shop, Salvo Diving, in 2004.

"The company in general, including the production associates, feel very good about the outcome," Halcyon Manufacturing Production Manager Steve Pulliam said.

A plea agreement made in January that didn't include prison time was refused by Circuit Judge David Glant when Halcyon Manufacturing CEO Jarrod Jablonski said he felt the punishment did not fit the crime.

In addition to prison time, the new plea agreement also includes five years of probation and requires Miller to pay a restitution of $142,024, approximately $14,000 more than he would have paid in the original plea agreement.

At the time of sentencing, Miller had to pay $82,024. The rest of the restitution will be paid in monthly installments of $2,500 for 24 consecutive months.

In return, the trafficking count was dropped and Miller can apply for an early probation term when he completes the restitution.

In a statement released by Halcyon on March 15, the day of Miller's sentencing, Jablonski said he was happy to be done with the case and is excited to move forward with the business.

"We are pleased to be freed from the malicious actions of a manager intent on doing us harm," Jablonski said.

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