Former lighthouse keepers director sentenced for financial crimes

January 23, 2024

Peter Manting and attorney Kristyna Nunzio.

Former lighthouse keepers director sentenced for financial crimes

By Allison Scarbrough, News Editor

LUDINGTON — The former executive director of Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association was sentenced in Mason County’s 51st Circuit Court Tuesday, Jan. 23, for convictions of larceny $1,000 or more and using a computer to commit a crime.

Peter Alan Manting, 67, was not ordered to serve upfront jail time, but was sentenced to six months suspended jail with credit for two days served; two years probation; $1,300 in restitution; and $726 in fines and costs. Manting pleaded guilty to the charges, Nov. 14, 2023.

One count of stealing/retaining a financial transaction device without consent and a second count of using a computer to commit a crime were dismissed.

Manting

“At the time these incidents occurred, the defendant held a position of authority for a nonprofit organization,” said Mason County Prosecuting Attorney Lauren Kreinbrink. Manting had access to information for numerous personal accounts as the organization’s director, said Kreinbrink.

Manting has two prior misdemeanor convictions of financial-related crimes — false pretenses and non-sufficient fund check, said the prosecutor. With the recent convictions, he now has two felony convictions on his record, she added.

Carol Cooper, who is the bookkeeper for the lighthouse organization, made a victim allocution statement to the court that her late husband, Richard Cooper, had presided over as judge for 36 years. 

“I appreciate the sheriff, detectives, prosecutor, probation agent and the court for all the work, investigation, attention and diligence they have done in this case and holding the defendant Peter Manting accountable to help prevent him from doing similar actions in the future,” said Cooper. 

Manting’s attorney Kristyna Nunzio said her client is “completely embarrassed and mortified that this happened.” Nunzio said Manting would pay his restitution as soon as the court ordered it. According to his court records, Manting paid the restitution, fines and costs in full Tuesday.

Manting did not make a statement in court.

“He wants Mrs. Cooper to know that he is very sorry for what happened and he is very sorry to the lighthouse association,” said Nunzio. “He loved the job and raised a lot of money for the organization.”

Judge Susan K. Sniegowski said sentencing guidelines for count 1 — larceny $1,000 or more — are 0-17 months, and count 2 — using a computer to commit a crime — are 5-23 months.

Carol Cooper

“This is a negotiated plea agreement, and I can’t make any modifications — I can only accept it or reject it,” said the judge.

The lighthouse keepers association announced last June that Jeff dePuis of Montague was named interim executive director following Manting’s arrest. 

The Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association, based in Ludington, operates Big Sable Point Lighthouse in Mason County’s Hamlin Township, Ludington North Breakwater Lighthouse, Little Sable Point Lighthouse in Oceana County’s Golden Township in the Silver Lake area and White River Light Station in Muskegon County’s Fruitland Township near Whitehall. 

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