Former restaurant owner pleads guilty to taking money from local music legend fundraiser

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STREETSBORO, Ohio -- A man who helped organize a fundraiser for local music legend Sonny Geraci has now plead guilty to taking money from the event.

Bill Thompson, former owner of Stringz and Wingz in Streetsboro, plead guilty to the grand theft charge Monday in Portage County Common Pleas Court.

After the court hearing, Thompson tried to avoid our I-Team camera and said he is not at fault.

“I didn’t do anything. Why would I be sorry for something I didn’t do?” Thompson said as he held a piece of paper in front of his face. He did not respond when he was asked why he plead guilty to the felony charge.

Police and organizers of the event held for Geraci, a Cleveland-based rocker, said Thompson owes the Geraci’s family more than $20,000, which is the amount raised during last November’s fundraiser.

“It’s been very difficult,” said Chuck Kocisko, who also helped organize the fundraiser. “This has been 8 or 9 months and we want to get it over with. We were hoping he would have come up with the money and we wouldn’t have to go through this.”

The benefit was held for Geraci, who suffered an aneurysm about two years ago.  Kocisko said he held the benefit to help the Geraci family pay for mounting medical bills.

Family and friends of Geraci said despite what happened they are extremely grateful for the support of the community.

“They have been just wonderful,” said Mary Lou Geraci, Sonny’s wife. “I can’t begin to express my gratitude to Streetsboro and the Kocisko family. Everybody was great and I am just in awe.”

Thompson will be sentenced in about a month. He will also have to make restitution to the family.

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