KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Two former executives of American Italian Pasta Co. have been sentenced to prison for overstating the company's earnings and deceiving investors.

Timothy S. Webster, the former president and chief executive of American Italian, was sentenced Thursday to 18 months. The former chief financial officer, Warren B. Schmidgall, was sentenced to 13 months.

The Kansas City Star reports that the two men each pleaded guilty in September 2008 to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The company also agreed to pay a $7.5 million fine.

Prosecutors accused the two men of inflating American Italian's earnings and deceiving investors between May 2002 to December 2004.

American Italian, now under new management, was forced to restate its financial reports going back to 2001.


Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com

Copyright 2009 The AP.

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