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Published: Saturday, 6/29/2002

Ex-bar owner in East Toledo put on 2 years of restrictions

Former bar owner Rob Croak was placed on community control for two years yesterday by a Lucas County Common Pleas Court judge and was told to stay out of the bar business.

Croak, 38, who operated the Main Event, 137 Main St., and was involved in two other nightclubs in East Toledo - Frankie's Inner City Lounge, 308 Main, and Club 128, 128 Main - was convicted last month of forgery.

Two additional counts of forgery and one count of tampering with records were dismissed.

As part of the conditions for community control, Judge James Jensen forbade Croak from having an interest or ownership in the Main Event or any other bar.

Croak, who also was fined $2,000, told the judge prior to sentencing: “I'm regretful in my actions, and I'm very happy to get this over with.” He made no other comments.

Croak was accused of signing the name of an employee on a check in March, 2000, to pay rent for the Main Event.

Because of various liquor violations, Croak had lost the liquor license for the Main Event in 1996. State liquor investigators said Croak hid his ownership in the club in 1997 when he used an employee to act as an agent to obtain a liquor license.

Authorities said the check forgery was part of Croak's continuing scheme to conceal his ownership of the Main Event, the license for which was revoked in December.

Jon Richardson, an attorney who represented Croak, acknowledged that his client owned the Main Event, but hid his ownership because the bar business was the way he made his living.

At the hearing, Judge Jensen noted that no one suffered any financial loss from Croak signing the check. However, the judge said the forgery was done to hide Croak's ownership in the bar.

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