Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Lapwai man pleads guilty to stealing from Nez Perce Express

Michael Charles Taylor, 39, of Lapwai, pleaded guilty June 15 to grand theft, announced U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson. Taylor entered his plea before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge at the federal courthouse in Coeur d'Alene.

According to the plea agreement, between July 1 and Sept. 17, 2010, Taylor was employed at the Nez Perce Tribal Express store as a cashier. During his employment, he processed fictitious returns of cigarettes and pocketed the money.

Taylor was later interviewed by the chief of the Nez Perce Police Department. During the interview, Taylor admitted to stealing some money, but minimized the extent of his thefts. A financial audit revealed that Taylor stole $8,146.88. Taylor agreed to pay the store $9,146.88 in restitution, which includes a $1,000 deductible paid by the store to the insurance company that covered its loss.

The charge carries a maximum punishment of up to 14 years in prison, a fine up to $250,000, and up to three years supervised release.

Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 7 before Judge Lodge in Coeur d’Alene.

The case was investigated by the Nez Perce Tribal Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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