SIOUX CITY -- A man who worked as the Ickey Nickel Bar & Grill's head chef has been sentenced to five years in prison for making unauthorized purchases of meat and cheese and then selling the products for his own profit.

Carlos Barrera, 52, pleaded guilty Thursday in Woodbury County District Court to one count of second-degree theft, which had been reduced from first-degree theft as part of a plea agreement.

In addition to the prison sentence, District Judge Steven Andreasen ordered Barrera to pay $14,000 in restitution to Ickey Nickel owner Michael Verzani.

Barrera was accused of making dozens of unauthorized purchases of beef chuck rolls, pork butts and feathered mozzarella cheese totaling more than $46,000 from Staber Meats between May 9, 2017, and Nov. 9, 2017. Barrera would sign invoices allowing Staber Meats to automatically withdraw the funds from the Ickey Nickel's bank account. He then sold the items to other businesses, keeping the money. During a review of the invoices, attorneys were able to attribute $14,000 of purchases to Barrera.

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