Public Safety

Cedar Rapids man who embezzled over $10,000 from a nonprofit receives a deferred sentence

He also was ordered to pay $10,897

CEDAR RAPIDS — A 56-year-old Cedar Rapids man, who stole more than $10,000 from a nonprofit organization that grows produce for area food pantries, received a deferred judgment this week in Linn County District Court.

Eric S. Wullner, convicted of first-degree theft, was employed by Feed Iowa First from June 28 to Dec. 30, 2019, when he embezzled money from the nonprofit that works with private businesses, churches and homeowners to grow food on unused land.

Wullner embezzled funds by depositing checks issued to the nonprofit and transferring other funds into his own personal account, according to a criminal complaint. He stole $11,172 to support his drug addiction, the complaint shows.

Assistant Linn County Attorney Jordan Schier said Wullner was eligible for a deferred judgment because he didn’t have any previous felony convictions. Wullner also apologized for his actions and was remorseful, he noted.

According to court records, Wullner had previous convictions for misdemeanor forgery and other thefts.

Schier said the board members of Feed Iowa First asked the judge to sentence Wullner to prison and pay restitution.

Sixth Judicial District Judge Mitchell Turner gave Wullner the deferred judgment and three years probation. If he commits further crimes or has violations while on probation, he could be sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Turner also ordered Wullner to pay $10,897 to Feed Iowa First.

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