Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Colorado Man Accused Of Embezzling More Than $1.8 Million From Employer

From the Daily Camera on 4/30/13:

Ex-Celestial Seasonings manager pleads not guilty in $1.8M embezzlement case

A former Celestial Seasonings distribution manager accused of embezzling more than $1.8 million from the Boulder-based tea company over five years has pleaded not guilty and will stand trial in September on 14 felony charges, according to court officials.

Jeffrey Michael Wagner, 43, of Erie, has been charged with theft over $20,000, income tax evasion, five counts of filing false tax returns and seven counts of forgery.


According to investigators, Wagner -- who worked for Celestial Seasonings from 2006 until June when he was fired for "work performance issues" -- created a fake vendor named "JDW" in 2007 and began authorizing invoices to the fictitious company.

Celestial Seasonings estimates that over the course of the scam, it sent $1.8 million in payments to JDW that ended up in Wagner's bank accounts, according to court records.

According to court documents, the bogus company listed Wagner's cell phone number as contact information, and the bank routing number matched the routing number of Wagner's personal account where Celestial Seasonings deposited his paychecks.


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