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Ex-NJ Restaurant VP Sentenced For Taking Kickbacks

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - The former vice president of the New Jersey-based Charlie Brown's Steakhouse restaurant chain has been sentenced for conspiring with the company's president to accept more than $1 million in kickbacks from vendors.

Fifty-one-year-old Michael Mulligan of West Milford was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Trenton to eight months of home confinement and three years' probation.

Prosecutors say he conspired with the chain's former president, Russell D'Anton, to direct business to vendors who paid them kickbacks, including cash and expensive home appliances. D'Anton was sentenced last week to two years in prison.

The restaurant chain has struggled financially in recent months. In November, its parent company filed for bankruptcy protection and closed 47 restaurants. Mountainside, N.J.-based parent company CB Holding Corp. plans to sell its remaining 32 Charlie Brown's and Bugaboo Creek steakhouses.