The former manager of Yoke’s Fresh Market in Pasco has admitted pocketing $56,000 in cash that was supposed to be deposited in the store safe.
Steven D. Brooks, 57, of West Richland, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Franklin County Superior Court to one count of first-degree theft.
He acknowledged that between January 2012 and July 2014, he “obtained/exerted unauthorized control over money that belonged to Yoke’s” while he was manager of the 4905 N. Road 68 store.
Brooks faces up to three months in county jail.
Deputy Prosecutor Dave Corkrum wrote in the plea statement that he will recommend a 30-day sentence, with no objection to jail alternatives like work release or work crew. He also said Brooks will have to pay restitution and court costs and undergo a crime victim assessment.
Brooks, who has been out of custody on his personal recognizance, was told to return April 28 for sentencing.
The store conducted a financial audit last summer and discovered the $56,000 discrepancy in the actual amount of money taken in by the company and what it was supposed to show on the record books.
The store manager had exclusive control over the business cash from the time checkers turned it in to the time it was deposited in the safe, court documents show. The audit determined that’s the step in the process where the cash went missing.
Brooks told Pasco Officer Kari Skinner that after receiving the cash and statements from checkers, he would remove the cash from the totals to keep for himself.
Brooks then manipulated the records to reflect the amount actually deposited into the safe, minus the cash he kept, documents said.
In addition to the cash from the registers, Brooks would remove cash from the ATM in the store. He had exclusive access to the machine and manipulated those records too.
Brooks claimed he took about $82,000 to $84,000 from Yoke’s over three years. He said he used his annual bonus each year to pay back the difference, but had yet to cover the outstanding amount of $56,000, documents said.