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Eau Claire store clerk stole more than $20K by altering receipts

A former convenience store clerk will spend four years on probation for stealing more than $20,000 since 2009 by altering transactions through a customer incentive program.

A former convenience store clerk will spend four years on probation for stealing more than $20,000 since 2009 by altering transactions through a customer incentive program.

Eric C. Martin, 22, 1112 Imperial Circle, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Eau Claire County Court to two felony counts of theft and a misdemeanor count of theft.

Judge Lisa Stark told Martin he committed a breach of trust with his employer.

"It was a personal affront what you did," she said.

"This is most definitely a life lesson," Martin said.

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Public defender Laurie Osberg said Martin intends to fully pay back what was stolen.

"This is an extraordinarily unusual incident in Eric's life, and I don't see him coming back to court," Osberg said.

Under an agreement approved by Stark, one of the felony charges will be dismissed and the other two counts may be expunged if Martin successfully completes the conditions of his probation.

Martin must pay restitution of $5,919 to Mega Holiday stores and $14,776 to the company's insurance carrier.

He cannot have contact with Mega Holiday stores and must pursue any counseling recommended by his probation agent.

Martin was given the option of spending 30 days in jail or performing 240 hours of community service.

According to the criminal complaint:

Mega Holiday officials contacted Eau Claire police after determining Martin had been stealing money from the Cameron Street store.

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The store has a Mega Miles program that enables the redemption of points for cents off on the purchase of gasoline.

An in-store investigation showed a significant difference between the points available and the amounts that were being redeemed on Martin's register.

The largest amounts taken by Martin were $2,413 in October and $2,231 in November.

Martin admitted to police he took money by altering store discounts. He said he took the money to pay bills.

Martin said he didn't take money every day he worked and had no idea how much money he took.

Holtz can be reached at 715-833-9207, 800-236-7077 or dan.holtz@ecpc.com .

(c)2011 the Leader-Telegram (Eau Claire, Wis.)

Visit the Leader-Telegram (Eau Claire, Wis.) at www.leadertelegram.com

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Distributed by MCT Information Services

Related Topics: CRIME
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