The former CEO of a Montana appliance and electronics retailer has been sentenced to just over 5 years in federal prison for defrauding the employee-owned store founded by his father-in-law, leading it into bankruptcy.

The Missoulian reports U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen sentenced George Manlove on Friday. Manlove was found guilty in February of conspiracy and 172 fraud charges over his actions at Vann's Inc.

Manlove said he was devastated that Vann's failed while he was CEO, but added that he never felt that he defrauded the company.

The jury convicted Manlove of spending company money on personal expenses without board approval. Prosecutors said he and former CFO Paul Nisbet created holding companies to buy buildings and leased them to the company at above-market rates to pay off the loans and gain ownership of the buildings.


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