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Businessman gets 5 years in prison

Posted at 12:40 PM, Mar 16, 2016

In court Joe Schiavone Jr. and his family pleaded for probation, but the judge didn't buy it sending Schaivone Jr. to prison.

"You sir are nothing short of a thief," explained Judge Krista Marx.

A thief exposed by the Consumer Watchdog now beginning a five year prison sentence. Schiavone Jr. took more than $20,000 for a deposit on a home and returning only a fraction of Sheila Seidel's money when the deal fell through.

"It's been hard because that was the last of what my parents could give me. I spent it to help my son and it's gone. It's gone," Seidel told us when Schiavone Jr. was found guilty a few weeks ago.

Patricia Nickler's deposit is gone too, but charges haven't been filed in her case.

"What's it been like for you not having that money?" Strathman asked.

"Well, it was all of my savings," Nickler said. "I not only have no house I have no money in order to go and purchase a new house."

North Palm Beach police say there are 14 victims who together lost more than $100,000. Something we exposed last July after Nickler made a call to the Consumer Watchdog.

"Thank you. I appreciate the fact that you took my call and that you went as far as you did to make me feel at least somebody is fighting for me," Nickler said.

Schiavone Jr. told me by text this summer that he'd repay Nickler. She says she hasn't seen a dime.

Seidel says she heard the same promise. Wednesday in court on her case, Schiavone Jr. asked for another chance.

"I'm sorry," Schiavone Jr. said. "I want to pay."

It was too little too late. The judge still sent Schiavone Jr. to prison, taking into consideration he has a criminal past.

"I needed to see justice was served," said Nickler who was in court.

She hopes the next time she's in court on her case.

"I'm very eager to hear what the state has to say about my case," said Nickler.

Schiavone Jr. will also have to pay back the money he took from Seidel which his family says they can do.

As for the others who say they lost money, the State Attorney is still looking at those cases for possible charges.

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This story all started with a call to Jenn. Now a man is in prison. If you have a consumer issue, let Jenn know on Facebook and Twitter.