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Man sentenced for exploiting now-deceased uncle

GRAND RAPIDS - A Nashwauk businessman will serve one year in jail and pay more than $870,000 in restitution for bilking his now-deceased uncle out of more than $1 million and using the money to gamble, buy a new car and pay off debts.

GRAND RAPIDS - A Nashwauk businessman will serve one year in jail and pay more than $870,000 in restitution for bilking his now-deceased uncle out of more than $1 million and using the money to gamble, buy a new car and pay off debts.

Patrick Vincent Pecchia, 56, was sentenced Monday in State District Court in Grand Rapids. He's previously pleaded guilty in January to the felony crime of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult from 2007 until his 79-year-old uncle's death in 2011.

The court sentenced Pecchia to 72 months in prison, but stayed execution of that sentence and placed him on 20 years supervised probation on multiple conditions, including jail time and restitution of $871,667.09.

Pecchia is a longtime Itasca County resident and owner of the Nashwauk Bottle Shop and Pecchia Clean Car Wash.

Authorities said Pecchia obtained power of attorney for his uncle, Joseph Pecchia, after his dementia diagnosis in 2007.

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The complaint alleged that once Patrick Pecchia took over his uncle's finances, he cashed numerous large checks at casinos, purchased a new car and paid off hundreds of thousands of dollars in credit card bills.

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