Ex-Celestial Seasonings employee pleads guilty to stealing $1.8 million

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BOULDER, Colo. — A former distribution manager for Boulder’s Celestial Seasonings tea company pleaded guilty Thursday to stealing from his ex-employer.

Jeffrey Michael Wagner, 43, of Erie, pleaded guilty to felony theft of more than $20,000 and one count of forgery, the Daily Camera reported. He was accused of embezzling more than $1.8 million from the company over the course of five years

Wagner will face four to 10 years in prison on the theft charge, and 15 years of economic probation for the forgery count.

In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dropped 12 other felony counts, the Daily Camera reported.

Wagner was scheduled to stand trial in April after entering a plea of not guilty almost a year ago.

According to investigators, Wagner created a fake vendor named “JDW” in 2007 and began authorizing payments to his fictitious company until he was caught recently.

Read more at the Daily Camera.

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