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Plea Deal in Embezzlement Case Includes Repayment of $9,000

A Santa Barbara man will pay back the $9,000 he was accused of embezzling from the Santa Barbara Central Office of Alcoholics Anonymous under a plea agreement with prosecutors.

John Douglas Schlueter, the organization’s former office manager, entered a no-contest plea Nov. 2 to a single misdemeanor count of embezzlement.

His sentencing was Friday before Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Frank Ochoa.

Schlueter was accused of embezzling $9,000 through the unauthorized use of credit cards and purchases, including computer tablets, projectors, auto repairs, food and gasoline, according to Deputy District Attorney Gary Gemberling.

The thefts occurred between January 2010 and February 2012, Gemberling said.

Schlueter was terminated from his job after officials with Alcoholics Anonymous discovered the financial irregularities, Gemberling said.

The matter was then reported to the Santa Barbara Police Department, which forwarded the case to the District Attorney’s Office, and the embezzlement charge was filed.

As part of the plea agreement, Ochoa placed Schlueter on probation for three years, and ordered him to have no contact with his former employer, Gemberling said.

If Schlueter violates his probation, he could face up to a year in County Jail, Gemberling said.

A no-contest plea is not an admission of guilt, but is treated as a conviction for purposes of punishment.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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