Thursday January 3, 2013

ANDREW AMELINCKX

The Berkshire Eagle

PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- A Vermont man admitted Wednesday to bilking more than $100,000 from his North Adams employer to support a prescription pill addiction and was sentenced to a year in jail followed by a year of probation.

In Berkshire Superior Court, Kenneth Sigsbury, 52, of Pownal, Vt., pleaded guilty to single counts of making false entries into corporate books and larceny over $250 as an ongoing and continuing scheme. He admitted that between Feb. 1 and Dec. 14, 2011, while working as the production manager for Berkshire Anodizing, he stole money from the company and then altered the books to hide his deeds.

According to Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Gregory Barry, Sigsbury took about $160,000. Sigsbury believed it was closer to $110,000, Barry told the court.

Berkshire Anodizing specializes in placing a clear protective coating on aluminum tubing to prevent it from corroding.

Sigsbury would bring aluminum to a local scrap yard and take a percentage of the money received in cash, unbeknownst to his employer, and would then use the money to buy illegal prescription drugs, said Barry.

Sigsbury's attorney, Edmund St. John III, said his client suffered a back injury and became addicted to painkillers because he was "unable to cope with the pain."

The lawyer said that Sigsbury worked hard for his employer and helped turn the company around.

Sigsbury's father, Frank Sigsbury, started a similar North Adams company, Modern Aluminum Anodizing Corp. in 1974. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and sold its Hodges Road plant to Arthur Grodd in 2011. Kenneth Sigsbury stayed on with the company after it became Berkshire Anodizing.

Barry told the court that Grodd was in agreement with the joint recommendation and understood he wouldn't be reimbursed for his losses because Sigsbury isn't in a position to come up with restitution.

Judge Daniel A. Ford sentenced Sigsbury to two years in jail, with one year to be served, followed by a year of probation during which Sigsbury must remain drug free. The sentence was in line with the joint recommendation.

After his sentencing, Sigsbury, who had been out on his own recognizance, was handcuffed and led away by court security. He will be serving his sentence at the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction.