David J. Venerose Jr. admits passing bad rent checks and lying in probate court
By Peter H. Milliken
David J. Venerose Jr., 42, of Sheridan Road, has pleaded guilty to one count of passing bad rent checks for his former Boardman bar and one count of perjury for lying under oath concerning an elderly woman he was caring for who has since died.
The bad checks charge, to which he pleaded guilty Monday, pertains to $8,600 in rent payments to his landlord for the Iron Shamrock bar, 8414 Market St.
The perjury charge pertains to a lie he told in a probate- court hearing concerning Geraldine Burke.
Both charges are felonies.
The prosecution is recommending probation for Venerose if he makes $10,750 in restitution to Burke’s estate before sentencing, and thereafter remains current on payments toward a total of $67,560 in legal fees and restitution he was ordered by the probate court to make to the estate.
“The court’s not going to be interested in any rationale, or reasons, or alibis or excuses of why the terms of this agreement are not met,” Judge Lou A. D’Apolito, of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, warned Venerose.
The prosecution left the matter of rent restitution to the landlord to be handled in civil proceedings.
In the plea deal, Jeffrey Davis, an assistant county prosecutor, agreed to drop two additional perjury counts stemming from two other lies Venerose reportedly told in the same probate court hearing.
“If he doesn’t pay the restitution by the sentencing, our recommendation [for probation] is out the door,” Davis said.
“We’ll ask for prison” or for reinstatement of the two dropped perjury counts, if Venerose doesn’t make the $10,750 in restitution before sentencing, Davis added.
Sentencing will be at a later date after a pre- sentence investigation.
Judge D’Apolito could put Venerose on probation or sentence him to up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine on the bad checks charge and up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine on the perjury charge.
Venerose remains free on $10,000 bond pending sentencing.