MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) — A former executive for Glock Inc. convicted of stealing a pistol and millions of dollars from the gun manufacturing giant was sentenced Wednesday to seven years in prison even as his supporters raised questions about his conviction.
Paul Jannuzzo, the company's ex-general counsel, also was sentenced to serve 13 years of probation after a suburban Alanta jury convicted him of stealing a custom pistol that company founder Gaston Glock had loaned to him and pilfering millions of dollars from Glock with another executive.
Jannuzzo's attorneys sought a lesser sentence, claiming in court papers that local prosecutors had "outsourced" the investigation to Glock's employees. They called on a long list of Jannuzzo's friends and family members who described him as a brilliant attorney and devoted family man.
They also recently released an affidavit from Gaston Glock's son, Robert, who indicates Jannuzzo had tried to return the .45 caliber pistol that led to the theft charge back in 2003. Both sides have said that if the state couldn't prove Jannuzzo stole the pistol, the other theft charges couldn't stick because of time restrictions.
"We really do not understand what happened," Robert Glock said Wednesday in a telephone interview from his home in Austria. "Everybody knows that he didn't do this. He tried to give back the gun."
Jannuzzo was convicted of theft and racketeering charges last month after a two-week trial. Prosecutors said he and Peter Manown, a former Glock vice president, pilfered more than $5 million using fake bank accounts, fabricated loan documents and forged signatures of company founder Gaston Glock.
Manown told the company founder nine years ago that he and Jannuzzo stole the money. But neither of them was charged with criminal wrongdoing until Glock turned over the details of its internal investigation in 2007 to authorities in Cobb County, where the company's U.S. headquarters are located for the Austrian company.
Manown pleaded guilty to three counts of theft and was sentenced to 10 years of probation. He also cooperated with authorities, agreeing to an interview by a prosecutor and a Glock attorney and to testify against Jannuzzo during the trial in Cobb County.
Jannuzzo, though, fought the charges at trial. His attorneys claimed he was being unfairly targeted by company officials who were upset he left the company. They also took aim at the gun theft charge, which was key to his prosecution.
In the affidavit filed by Robert Glock, he indicates that both he and his father knew all along that Jannuzzo had the pistol. He said when he told his father that Jannuzzo wanted to return the weapon, Gaston Glock said "he would take care of the request."
Robert Glock said in the interview on Wednesday that he regrets that he didn't travel to Georgia to testify on Jannuzzo's behalf, but he said he was advised by attorneys not to do so. He also said he didn't want to put his father in a "difficult" situation, but declined to comment on why he believes his dad pursued Jannuzzo's prosecution.
"Paul Jannuzzo worked for my father for a long time, and he saved his ass several times. He was always here for my father," he said. "That is how I knew Paul. If you ask me, I think he didn't steal. He had a great job in the best company, and I don't know why he would do it."
The former executive for Glock Inc. was sentenced Wednesday to seven years in prison, even as his supporters raised questions about his conviction.