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Santa Rosa woman faces 5 years in embezzlement

A Santa Rosa woman will be sentenced to up to five years in prison after pleading no contest to embezzling $348,000 from a small Sonoma County hardware store chain, lawyers said Thursday.

Glynis Lewis, 45, was charged with stealing the money from Garrett Hardware when she worked as office manager from 2006 to 2012.

She was believed to have taken the money from daily cash bank deposits, prosecutor Amy Ariyoshi said.

Lewis acknowledged the theft in an apology letter she wrote to the store owners when she resigned in October 2013.

She initially was charged with five criminal counts, including money laundering and receiving stolen property.

But she pleaded no contest Monday to grand theft-embezzlement with a sentencing enhancement for the large amount. Her lawyers said the exact amount of the theft is in dispute.

“She pleaded to the charge for which she is responsible, and she’s going to be sentenced,” her attorney Roy Miller said.

The other charges will be dropped at her March 11 sentencing hearing before Judge Robert LaForge.

At a minimum, Lewis faces a year in county jail and a period of probation, Miller said.

Under state sentencing laws, she will be eligible for release after serving half of her time.

She remains free on $150,000 bail.

Lewis will be among the latest to be punished in embezzlement cases in Sonoma County.

Last month, Eileen Madayag, 43, of Vallejo admitted embezzling $138,000 from her Petaluma employer, SPG Solar, with an agreement to serve about a year in prison. She was a payroll manager for the company from 2011 to last year.

Larry Gene Sark, 67, of Santa Rosa was sentenced in August to 12 years in prison for embezzling $385,000 from developmentally disabled clients at the North Bay Regional Center, where he was a social worker.

And in May, Jeffrey Holzworth, 52, a veteran Santa Rosa Junior College police officer, was sentenced to four years in prison for taking $286,000 from campus parking meters.

You can reach Staff Writer Paul Payne at 568-5312 or paul.payne@pressdemocrat.com. ?On Twitter @ppayne.

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