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Former Duane Reade CEO Tony Cuti gets three years in prison for fraud

BY Antoinette Alexander

New York City — Former Duane Reade CEO Tony Cuti was sentenced on Monday to three years in prison in connection with accounting fraud at the New York-based drug store chain.

Cuti, who is to report to prison on Jan. 31, 2012, also must pay a $5 million fine.

In sentencing Cuti, U.S. District Court Judge Deborah Batts in Manhattan called him a "gifted, arrogant, driven and entitled individual" who "bullied people into committing fraudulent acts to make the company look better than it actual was," according to published reports.

In June 2010, Cuti was found guilty of conspiracy, securities fraud and making false statements. Former Duane Reade CFO William Tennant was found guilty of securities fraud.

Tennant’s sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 29.

From November 2000 through June 2005, Cuti and Tennant reported inflated income from fraudulent real estate transactions and reduced company expenses through fictitious credits from vendors, prosecutors said.

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NRF Survey; Department stores and apparel stores attract last-minute back-to-school shoppers

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Washington, D.C. — A survey released Tuesday by the National Retail Federation and conducted by BIGresearch showed that department stores, clothing stores and websites are expected to attract most of the last-minute back-to-school purchases.

According to NRF’s 2011 Back-to-School survey, the average family has completed 43% of shopping for K-12 students, similar to last year’s 43.2%. College students and their parents have completed 44.3% f their shopping, up slightly from last year’s 43.1%.

While discount retailers will remain the top shopping destination for last-minute back-to-school shoppers (56.9%), the number of people who will shop at department stores and specialty clothing stores as school approaches is expected to jump substantially this year. According to the survey, 47.1% of last-minute shoppers plan to visit department stores, a 10% increase over last year’s 42.7%. Just over 40% (40.8%) plan to visit specialty clothing stores, a 19% jump over last year’s 34.3%, and 21.7% say they plan to shop online, up from last year’s 16%.

College shoppers will also flock to discount stores (48.2%) for their last-minute purchases. The number of people shopping in department stores (39.6%) and clothing stores (27.7%), however, also rose among that crowd.

An NRF survey released in July estimated that combined K-12 and college spending will reach $68.8 billion, serving as the second biggest consumer spending event for retailers behind the winter holidays. The average family of K-12 students will spend approximately $600 on back to school while college students and their parents will spend an average of $800.

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Sports Authority CEO resigns, replaced on interim basis by Jo-Ann Stores CEO

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — David Campisi, CEO and president of Sports Authority has suddenly resigned after just 17 months in the position, according to The Denver Post and other newspapers. Campisi joined Sports Authority in 2004 and served in various executive roles prior to being named chief executive and president in 2010. No reason has been given for the departure.

The Englewood, Colo.-based sporting goods retailer, which is owned by the private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners, has named Darrell Webb, currently chairman and CEO of Jo-Ann Stores, as interim CEO. Webb will retain the post of chairman at Jo-Ann, but will be replaced as CEO by Travis Smith, president of the chain. Jo-Ann is also owned by Leonard Green.

“I wish the company and its employees all the best as I pursue a new chapter in my career,” Campisi said in a statement. He came to Sports Authority from Kohl’s, where he was executive VP merchandising.

Sports Authority operates more than 460 stores in 45 states.

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