- Associated Press - Thursday, March 6, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A Twin Cities area man convicted of embezzling more than $4 million from his philanthropist boss will remain free while he awaits sentencing.

A jury in federal court found John Waters Jr. guilty of 25 counts Wednesday relating to the embezzlement of funds from the bank account of the late Gerard Cafesjian. The philanthropist and art collector had hired Waters to manage his charitable foundation and business affairs. The two had worked together at West Publishing in St. Paul, where Cafesjian was an executive and shareholder. When the company was sold in 1996, Cafesjian earned more than $200 million.

Prosecutors say Waters withdrew large amounts of cash from Cafesjian’s bank account and hid it in accounts he controlled. Waters testified during his federal trial that the money wasn’t stolen, that Cafesjian approved the withdrawals and that the money went either to Cafesjian to fund his purchases of art, gems and jewelry, or it was a loan Waters was taking against deferred compensation he was owed.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press (https://bit.ly/1jVBucD ) says Judge Ann Montgomery warned Waters that there would be dire consequences if he tried to flee while awaiting sentencing.

“You’ve dug yourself a very deep hole,” Montgomery told the 57-year-old Eden Prairie man. A sentencing date was not immediately set.

Cafesjian died in September at the age of 88, five months after his wife of 65 years, Cleo Cafesjian, 87, passed away.


Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press, https://www.twincities.com

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