A former manager at the Oakmont Golf Club will be sentenced to a year in jail after pleading no contest Tuesday to charges connected to the embezzlement of $125,000 in goods from the pro shop.
Ryan Drucker Andress, 31, of Santa Rosa was arrested in July after another manager spotted a suspicious transaction.
Prosecutors said Andress systematically reversed cash and credit card purchases made at the golf shop and placed the refunded money on Oakmont gift cards. He then used the cards to purchase golf equipment from the shop and sold the items on his personal eBay account, prosecutors said.
The scam made it appear that sales were increasing at the golf shop under Andress' management, while he was personally profiting from the eBay sales, prosecutors said. The theft continued for approximately 14 months and was only discovered when another manager questioned one of the reversed transactions.
After he was led from the club in handcuffs, Andress, the former interim golf operations manager, called the charges "slander" and accused the club of making him a scapegoat "for years of mismanagement."
But on Tuesday, Andress pleaded no contest to felony grand theft and receiving stolen property and admitted an enhancement for theft over $65,000.
He is the latest Sonoma County resident to be charged with embezzling money from an employer. The string of seven high-profile cases has left local companies and nonprofit organizations with at least $3 million in losses over the past two years.
"We are working with law enforcement to hold the offenders in these employee embezzlement cases accountable. We encourage businesses to review existing auditing controls to ensure proper asset protection and account compliance to protect themselves from these cunning schemes," District Attorney Jill Ravitch said in a statement.
Andress' lawyer, John LemMon, said he is taking full responsibility and will repay the money.
As part of his plea bargain, Andress must return at least $50,000 by his sentencing, which is Jan. 10. He is free on bail.
You can reach Staff Writer Paul Payne at 568-5312 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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