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Second Former Parks Official Sentenced For Embezzlement

The Grand Basin and Art Hill in Forest Park in St. Louis. The park is one of the areas to benefit from a federal grant for recreational trails.
david_shane | Flickr
A second former city parks official will spend three years in federal prison for his role in defrauding the city of $47,000.

The U.S. District Court of Eastern Missouri has sentenced a former St. Louis city official to three years in federal prison for embezzlement. 

Thomas Stritzel, a former chief park ranger,  was the second man charged in the scheme that cost the city of St. Louis parks department more than $470,000. The sentence issued today is identical to what Joe Vacca, the department's former deputy commissioner, received in December. The two men are also jointly responsible for paying back the $472,722 they stole from the city using shell companies, and false and inflated invoices.

Vacca and Striztel admitted to the fraud in September. No one else will be charged as a result of the scheme, which ran for nearly eight years.

Indictment and plea agreements for Dan Stritzel and Joe Vacca

St. Louis parks fraud

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.