Anthony Pugliese, a prominent developer in Delray Beach, is expected to start serving a six-month jail sentence Monday for stealing more than $1 million from Fred DeLuca, the now-deceased founder of the Subway sandwich-shop chain.
Pugliese and DeLuca were business partners in a failed residential development called Destiny on land south of Yeehaw Junction.
According to his 2012 arrest affidavit, Pugliese formed fake companies and sent phony invoices to DeLuca in order to build a reserve account in case DeLuca stopped funding the Destiny development.
Prosecutors said they could prove at trial that Pugliese used the money for personal expenses including a fancy music system for his mansion in Gulfstream.
After DeLuca and Pugliese traded civil suits over the failure of the Destiny development, the criminal case against Pugliese arose from his admission in a civil deposition that he formed fictitious companies.
Just days after Pugliese accepted a plea deal in the criminal case, DeLuca died of leukemia. Pugliese said he wanted to end the case because he himself has been diagnosed with cancer.
Circuit Judge Glenn Kelley sentenced Pugliese Tuesday for grand theft and scheming to defraud. Pugliese was granted permission to turn himself in Monday at the county jail. [Palm Beach Post] — Mike Seemuth