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Tuesday, March 19 , 2019, 1:28 am | Fair 53º


Santa Barbara Market Manager Pleads to Embezzlement

A Santa Barbara grocery story manager could be facing more than five years in prison after pleading no contest to embezzling from his employer, according to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office.

Samuel Rivera entered the pleas to two felony counts — embezzlement and grand theft — after being accused of stealing $65,000 from the Santa Cruz Market, 324 W. Montecito St., in Santa Barbara, said Deputy District Attorney Gary Gemberling.

Rivera was a long-term employee of the market, and was acting as store manager at the time the crimes occurred, Gemberling said.

“Rivera stole the money by voiding approximately 800 transactions between Sept. 1, 2010, and Sept. 15, 2012,” Gemberling said.

A no-contest plea is not an admission of guilt, but has the same effect as a conviction or guilty plea in terms of punishment.

Rivera is scheduled to return to court May 24 for sentencing by Superior Court Judge Clifford R. Anderson.

The sentence could range from 5 years and 8 months in prison to probation and no jail time, Gemberling said, adding that the county Probation Department will make a sentencing recommendation.

Commenting on the case, District Attorney Joyce Dudley said, “It is particularly offensive when the theft is committed by an employee who was placed in a position of trust by his or her employer.”

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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