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March 8, 2014

Embezzler wants to end restitution to Yellow School Center for the Arts

SALEM — The former treasurer of the Yellow School Center for the Arts in Byfield is asking a judge to stop making him pay restitution for the more than $100,000 he embezzled from the nonprofit nearly a decade ago.

That’s because, David Takesian’s attorney argued, the organization is now defunct — a situation prosecutors blamed on Takesian’s thefts, which occurred between 2004 and 2006.

Takesian, who at the time lived in Peabody, was sentenced in 2008 to two years in jail and 10 years of probation, with an order to pay $107,325 in restitution during the probation period.

During a hearing yesterday in Salem Superior Court, Takesian’s probation officer revealed that he is $5,170 behind on his restitution payments and hasn’t paid anything since last October.

Takesian’s lawyer, Gordon Feener, argued that not only is the organization “dissolved,” but that the actual Yellow School building has been sold to private owners who are renovating it.

Because of that, Takesian, who now lives in Amesbury, shouldn’t have to repay any more money, his lawyer argued.

But First Assistant District Attorney Jack Dawley said there is a successor nonprofit that is in the process of absorbing the Yellow School organization. They have filed an application for revival of the non-profit corporation, which is pending.

Judge John Lu ordered that Takesian pay at least $1,000 of the arrears he owes on the restitution within two weeks, and scheduled a hearing for April 11 on Feener’s request to end the restitution order.

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