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Paul Ritchey, 44, of Warrington, Pensylvania has been sentenced to 23 months of house arrest and also ordered to pay restitution to Acme Markets Inc for the theft of $132,000 worth of Pokemon cards.

Ritchey, who was the manager of the suburban Philadelphia supermarket at the time, was apporached by a woman who asked him if he could order some rare European Pokemon cards. Ritchey began selling cards to the woman on a regular basis; he would order the cards through the store, sell them to the woman and pocket the sales.

Acme officials became suspicious in January, after store records showed that a large number of Pokemon cards had been delivered to the store since October 1999, yet none had been sold.

"I needed the additional money -- I was trying to keep up with peer pressure, I guess," Ritchey told the courtroom where he pleaded guilty to theft, theft by deception and receiving stolen property. He has four children and said he needed the money to pay bills and private school tuition.

Ritchey has no prior criminal record and must remain in his home for the 23 month period except when he is at work.

CNN's article: http://www.cnn.com/2000/LAW/08/22/pokemon.ap/index.html

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