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Spokane Man Charged With Grand Theft In Grocery Scam

A Spokane man was arrested on 25 counts of grand theft and 24 counts of burglary for allegedly taking more than $41,000 from a Spokane wholesale distributor.

But John C. Nelson Jr., 35, was officially charged with only five counts of grand theft on Tuesday.

During 25 visits over three years, Nelson went to Ron’s Harvest Foods where he exchanged checks for money orders - keeping money that was meant to go to the store, said Kootenai County sheriff’s Detective John Laine.

Nelson worked for URM Stores Inc. The Spokane agency was dispensing money from a food distributing company to various local stores to buy promotional space at the stores, said Scot Nass, Kootenai County deputy prosecutor.

Nelson would get checks from URM claiming it was to be given to Ron’s Harest Foods in Hayden for promotion. He would instead keep the cash for himself, Nass said.

Nelson was originally charged with 25 counts of grand theft for stealing the cash on 25 occasions. He also was charged with an additional 24 counts of burglary for entering the grocery store with the intent to steal, said Detective Laine.

Nass decided to charge Nelson with only five of the charges. “The result is going to be the same if he’s convicted to 49 counts or five,” Nass said. Nass also said that if Nelson does not cooperate they could file the other charges.

, DataTimes

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