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Anderson waives preliminary hearing

Jul 11, 2012 - By Martin Reed, Staff Writer

The former financial manager for Star-Tech Inc. and Precision Analysis facing embezzlement charges related to the two Riverton companies chose not to challenge probable cause in his case.

Appearing on Wednesday in Riverton's Circuit Court with a pair of defense attorneys, Gerald "Gary" Emil Anderson Jr. waived his preliminary hearing that would have allowed a judge to determine whether probable causes exists for his charges.

In conjunction with Anderson's action, deputy county attorney Patrick LeBrun told Judge Wesley A. Roberts about the prosecution's decision to dismiss two felony conspiracy charges against the defendant.

The result of Anderson's 15-minute hearing likely means he will next appear in Lander's 9th District Court for an arraignment that allows his first opportunity to enter pleas to the remaining seven felonies against him.

The Fremont County Attorney's Office filed charges against Anderson on May 22 alleging embezzlement totaling more than $2.5 million.

On May 30, Lander police arrested Anderson, a former Fremont County School District 25 board chairman and high-ranking local leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, on a warrant at the county courthouse.

He has remained in jail on a $250,000 cash-only bond since his arrest.

Charging information accuses him of embezzling money from 2000 through 2010 for himself and his family members, including his son, Scott Anderson, daughter, Beth Gard, and sister, Karen Medow.

The dismissed charges of conspiracy to commit felony larceny did not name any other individuals but charging information lists some of Anderson's family members as benefiting from the alleged embezzlement.

His remaining charges include four counts of felony larceny and three counts of obtaining goods by false pretenses. The active charges carry a maximum punishment of 70 years in prison and $70,000 in fines.

The criminal charges follow civil litigation launched by Star-Tech proprietor Charles Starks and Precision Analysis owners Cory and Heidi Fabrizius in 2010 that accused Anderson of embezzlement.

At the conclusion of a seven-day trial in December in Lander, a jury found that Anderson had taken close to $1.5 million while working as the companies' financial manager.

The criminal information filed against Anderson outlines numerous allegations of embezzlement committed by him, including creating bogus records to make it appear that Star-Tech owed him money.

Anderson also allegedly benefited his family members in the scheme by overpaying them for loans made in their names to Star-Tech, according to court documents.

Anderson allegedly used Star-Tech money to pay for his credit cards, which totaled more than $212,000 between 2004 and 2010, according to charging information.

Flanked by attorneys John Schumacher and Jeff Stanbury, Anderson appeared in court dressed in orange jail clothes with chains around his wrists and ankles.

He stared ahead silently for most of the hearing, occasionally talking with his attorneys or answering questions from the judge about his decision to waive the preliminary examination.

Roberts modified Anderson's bond to allow a $250,000 surety posting instead of a cash-only requirement after hearing attorneys argue bond in the matter.

Attorney Jeff Stanbury argued that Anderson has been a lifelong resident of Wyoming, as has the defendant's wife, and the U.S. Attorney's Office has not considered him a flight risk for the last two years.

Anderson's property and possessions are the subject of a U.S. Bankruptcy Court action filed on his behalf and "using those assets to flee is greatly compromised," Stanbury said.

The defendant faces limitations in jail to prepare a defense in the case, he said.

"There are boxes upon boxes of evidence in this case" that Anderson needs to review and "he cannot do that at jail," he said.

LeBrun described Anderson's alleged thefts as "quite sneaky" and "for that reason ... he remains a danger to the community."

"(Because of the) large amount of money that was taken, he remains a flight risk," LeBrun said, arguing for keeping the cash-only bond amount in place.

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