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Anderson set to accept deal in embezzle case

Jan 23, 2013 - By Christina George, Staff Writer

The ex-financial manager accused of embezzling millions from Star-Tech Inc. and Precision Analysis in Riverton may see a reduced number of years behind bars if a judge accepts a plea deal filed by attorneys late last week.

According to the agreement filed Jan. 17 in Lander's 9th Judicial District Court, Gerald "Gary" Emil Anderson Jr. intends to plead guilty to two felony counts of larceny by bailee. The deal stipulates they will be "Alford" pleas, which means Anderson will say he is guilty to the charges but will maintain his innocence with an understanding that it is likely prosecutors have sufficient evidence to convict.

The agreement has to be accepted by Sublette County District Court Judge Marvin L. Tyler. If Tyler rejects the deal, Anderson can withdraw his guilty plea and the state can proceed with the prosecution of all charges.

In charging documents, the Fremont County Attorney's Office accuses Anderson of embezzling more than $2.5 million from 2000 through 2010 by stealing money for himself and his family members.

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 Lander in December 2011, a jury found that Anderson had taken close to $1.5 million while working as the companies' financial manager.

A March 11 jury trial was set last August after Anderson entered a not guilty plea to the original four counts of felony larceny and three counts of obtaining goods by false pretenses. The charges carry a maximum punishment of 70 years in prison and $70,000 in fines.

Prosecutors have since amended the charges to just two counts of larceny by bailee. The modified charges are punishable by a total of 20 years in prison and up to $20,000 in fines.

However, under the plea bargain, both defense and prosecuting attorneys agree Anderson shall be sentenced to a term of six to 10 years for the first charge.

"The prison sentence on Count 1 shall not be suspended and shall be serviced in the custody of the Wyoming Department of Corrections," the agreement states.

Attorneys agree Anderson shall be sentenced to a term of eight to 10 years in the custody of the Department of Corrections for the second charge. This sentence can be served consecutive to the sentence for count one, however, it can also be suspended in lieu of 10 years of supervised probation.

According to the plea agreement, no fines will be imposed, but Anderson stipulates to $1.5 million in restitution to Star-Tech. The dollar figure will apply to his convictions on the charges. Anderson will be entitled to argue that he is incapable of paying restitution, and prosecutors can argue that Anderson is capable of paying the amount.

The agreement also notes if the deal is accepted, all other pending cases against Anderson in the 9th Judicial District Court will be voided with prejudice.

"The State further agrees that should Defendant be charged by the United States Government as it relates to the tax consequences involving these transactions and occurrences that the State will agree that the sentence in this matter shall run concurrent to any federal sentence rendered," the agreement states.

A change of plea hearing will be set for a later date.

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