Kentucky

'Pappygate' ringleader gets shock probation weeks after receiving 15-year sentence

After being sentenced to a 15-year prison sentence earlier this month, the ringleader of the "Pappygate" rare bourbon heist will serve just 30 days.

Gilbert "Toby" Curtsinger received shock probation Friday by Franklin County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate. It comes less than a full month into a 15-year sentence after he pleaded guilty to stealing tens of thousands of dollars' worth of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon along with bourbon from Wild Turkey Distillery in Anderson County.

His attorney, Whitney True Lawson, called Curtsinger an excellent candidate for shock probation in her motion, citing his strong ties to the community and church, his own family support and a job as a painter, according to court documents.

"While this matter has been the source of immense publicity, it remains a property crime," the motion states. "In fact, this is a rare circumstance in which the victim of this crime has been the recipient of major financial benefits, resulting from the publicity this matter attracted. Without a doubt, the identified victims have done nothing but profit from this case, while Toby has suffered immense loss as a result of his actions."

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A judge has the option to grant shock probation if he or she feels the prison sentence is too harsh for the victim. Having received shock probation, Curtsinger will serve just 30 days of his initial 15-year sentence.

Curtsinger was indicted in 2015 on charges of operating a criminal syndicate that trafficked in bourbon and anabolic steroids. His wife, Julie, and eight other people were also indicted, but Curtsinger was the only one to serve jail time.

The case drew national attention from The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

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