Scarborough man convicted of stealing $50,000 from American Legion

Posted Feb. 29, 2012, at 7:53 p.m.

YORK, Maine — A jury has convicted a Scarborough man of stealing $50,000 from an American Legion post in York.

The Attorney General’s Office said 36-year-old Ryan J. Byther was found guilty on Wednesday of theft by deception after a two-day trial.

Prosecutors say Byther was a general contractor working for the American Legion on a new building project when he told Legion officials that he was an experienced professional fundraiser who could manage their $2 million fundraising campaign.

The American Legion gave him a $50,000 retainer in March 2008.

The attorney general says Byther had no fundraising experience and instead spent the money on his own business ventures, including Prost Tap House and Club Onyx, a bar and nightclub he opened in Portland that failed several months later.

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