published Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Man pleads guilty to stealing equipment from Spring Hill, Tenn., GM plant

NASHVILLE — Authorities say a Columbia man has pleaded guilty to interstate transportation of stolen property and filing a false tax return.

Anthony Praino entered the plea this week in U.S. District Court.

An investigation revealed that in 2011 and 2012 the 51-year-old stole nearly a million dollars' worth of equipment from the General Motors plant in Spring Hill where he was employed as a fork lift operator.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Hilliard Hester described the stolen equipment as sophisticated assembly line items, including robotic pieces used to assemble vehicles.

Authorities say Praino also failed to disclose to the Internal Revenue Service the $145,000 he received from the sale of the equipment.

He faces up to 13 years in prison and an order of restitution.

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