Co-owner of butcher shop chain pleads guilty for shorting charity

Co-owner of butcher shop chain pleads guilty for shorting charity

By Tom Johnston on 2/3/2015

The co-owner of a New Hampshire-based butcher shop franchise has pleaded guilty for his role in the company’s failure to pay a veterans’ charity the money raised for it at a fundraiser, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office announced.

Justin Rosberg, co-owner of The Meat House, pleaded guilty to one count of misapplication of property for stiffing the Chaplain Emergency Relief Fund after a charity event held in July 2013.

Rosberg has been sentenced to a year in prison, with all of the sentence suspended for two years, condition on payment of $13,882.21 in restitution to the charity, with monthly payments beginning 30 days from Jan. 29.

Earlier this month, the Rockingham County Grand Jury indicted the other co-owner, Jason Parent, with one count of felony theft and one count of misapplication of property involving non-payment of charitable funds to the same charity.

The Meat House opened its first store in Portsmouth, N.H., in 2003, with the founders’ aiming “to revive the art of the neighborhood butcher,” according to the company’s website.

By 2008 the company had 11 units and started franchising, but things started to unravel around 2010 when lawsuits from franchisees and investors over alleged misleading financial information began to pile up. By early 2014, according to media reports, the Meat House closed seven company-owned locations and began looking for an investor or a buyer.