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Ex-Duane Reade Finance Chief Tennant Sentenced to Probation

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Former Duane Reade Inc. Chief Financial Officer William Tennant was sentenced to three years’ probation for his June 2010 securities fraud conviction.

Tennant, 64, and former Chief Executive Officer Anthony Cuti were tried together on charges they falsely inflated income and misled investors from 2000 to 2005. Cuti was convicted of conspiracy and securities fraud and sentenced last month to three years in prison.

“Please don’t send me to jail,” Tennant said today to U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts, who granted his request at a hearing in federal court in Manhattan. Tennant told Batts he had cooperated in the investigation and suffered from the “long, painful, humbling experience” of the prosecution.

After holding post-trial hearings, the judge found that prosecutors hadn’t proved any financial loss resulting from Tennant’s crime.

Duane Reade, founded in 1960, was named after the two Lower Manhattan streets where it was located, a few blocks from the federal courthouse. Bain Capital LLC bought the chain from brothers Abraham, Eli and Jack Cohen in 1992 and sold shares to the public in 1998. Oak Hill Capital Partners LP bought all the publicly traded shares in July 2004.

Walgreen Co., the biggest U.S. drugstore chain, agreed to buy Duane Reade Holdings from affiliates of Oak Hill for $618 million in February 2010.

The case is U.S. v. Cuti, 08-cr-00972, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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