A Reisterstown man involved in a scheme to steal more than $300,000 from a Columbia-based food distributor failed to show yesterday for his sentencing - set nearly two years after he pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy.
Christopher T. St. Ange, 50, who has repeatedly postponed his sentencing date with promises to repay money owed to U.S. Foodservice, was on a business trip to Europe and called his lawyer, Alvin Alston, in the morning to say he would not be back until today.
Judge Diane O. Leasure issued a bench warrant for his arrest but agreed to hold service of the paperwork until tomorrow. She rescheduled the sentencing for that morning.
Prosecutor Mary Murphy said St. Ange's failure to show for court yesterday was proof that the Reisterstown man "has made a mockery of this case."
St. Ange and a co-defendant, Patrick J. Belzner, pleaded guilty in September 1999 to conspiracy charges stemming from the theft from U.S. Foodservice. Belzner received a 15-month sentence five months later, but St. Ange has put off his sentencing, paying off part of the remaining debt at times.
Nearly $147,000 of the $333,000 was recovered through stopping payment on a check and freezing a bank account. St. Ange has paid back $45,000. Alston said yesterday that he has another $16,000 from his client for the company.