- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A Lawrence man has pleaded guilty to embezzling about $1 million from his company and business partners over a 10-year period.

The U.S. Attorney’s office says 55-year-old Mark Elzea agreed to pay restitution under terms of the plea he entered Wednesday in federal court.

Elzea was the controller and part-owner of a Lawrence janitorial and cleaning equipment business called Pur-O-Zone. He admitted that he began stealing from the company and his three business partners in 2004.

The crime was discovered earlier this year when a vendor contacted one of the co-owners about not receiving a check. Prosecutors said the partners then discovered numerous unauthorized checks that Elzea had written to a credit card company.

Elzea faces up to 10 years in federal prison. The sentencing is set for Dec. 19.

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