Ex-shop owner’s charges withdrawn

McDonnell pays back remaining money owed after business closed

Charges against a sub shop owner were dropped Thursday after he paid back the last of the money he owed after his business shut down.

Christopher McDonnell, 53, of Duncansville appeared Thursday at Magisterial District Judge Steven Jackson’s court for his scheduled preliminary hearing on felony theft charges, but charges were withdrawn after McDonnell turned over the $510 he owed in restitution for money he received for fundraising tickets that became worthless when his shop suddenly closed last summer.

McDonnell had collected $2,532 from one party who had set up a fundraiser through his shop and $900 to another organization that had bought sub shop tickets to sell for a fundraiser.

“It wasn’t that he intended to defraud anyone,” said his attorney, Assistant Public Defender Julie Burke. “The business just went under.”

Burke said that McDonnell had fallen behind on his rent and was unexpectedly locked out of the business last summer, so he was unable to get into the shop to get his books and other contact information for the groups who had fundraising ticket sales underway.

Two parties involved with fundraising through the shop contacted police in July and August of last year after they could not get in contact with McDonnell and learned the shop was closed.

The parties had turned over money to McDonnell and had worthless tickets for the shop that were sold and some that were still unsold.

Most of the people had been paid back before Thursday, and McDonnell turned over the last of the money when he appeared for his scheduled preliminary hearing, Burke said.

“He feels really bad,” Burke said. “He wasn’t trying to defraud anyone. And he lost his business.”

Mirror Staff Writer Greg bock is at 946-7458.