Pueblo restaurateur Tony Ianne was sentenced to three years of probation this morning, bringing an end to a sprawling mortgage fraud case in which he was indicted on 72 felony charges.
Ianne, 50, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit a computer crime in exchange for the dismissal of the other mortgage fraud counts and two separate cases involving witness intimidation.
Ianne relied on his deep roots in the Pueblo community, marshaling a cast of community leaders to speak on his behalf.
They included City Council President Ray Aguilera, Little Caesars Pizza franchisee Dave Feamster and Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce President Rod Slyhoff.
Everyone who spoke mentioned Ianne’s commitment to community organizations in Pueblo, including his donation of time and food to numerous community events.
The speakers also highlighted Ianne’s work with Alcoholics Anonymous and several members of his AA group spoke on his behalf as well.
While his defense focused on Ianne’s charitable contributions to the community, Deputy District Attorney Steve Jones said that through his experience prosecuting the case he came to know a different side of Ianne.
Jones noted that Ianne’s conviction didn’t come as a result of a mistake, but from a concerted effort to manipulate a lax mortgage industry and line his own pockets.
Jones characterized the case as a lost opportunity because Ianne was investing in properties in distressed neighborhoods. But he chose to follow the path of greed and avarice rather than helping improve those homes and neighborhoods.
District Judge David Crockenberg said that imposing a jail or prison sentence on Ianne would not serve the interests of the community, his employees or the people who rely on his 12-step group.
However, Crockenberg imposed additional conditions of Ianne’s probation that he refrain from any real estate transactions, disclose his conviction when entering into any other business dealings and make his financial information available to the probation department.