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updated: 4/2/2010 5:32 AM

Former St. Charles CEO pleads guilty to fraud

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Duane Martin, 43, of Chicago, pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to wire fraud for diverting more than $600,000 from the Universal Food & Beverage Co. in St. Charles while he was chief executive officer of the now-bankrupt firm.

According to the plea, Martin had money diverted to himself and to creditors of other stores he owned as well as company stock transferred to creditors.

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Martin faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and twice the gross amount gained in the fraud. Sentencing is set for June 29.

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