Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Thursday

August 15, 2013

Man behind bogus robbery pleads

BENZONIA — A Benzonia man pleaded guilty to attempted embezzlement for his role in a staged robbery at a gas station where he worked.

Darek Alan Eberhard, 39, told Benzie County sheriff’s deputies on July 5 that he was robbed by an unknown assailant after he closed the Benzonia Timberline Shell Station. Authorities later determined it was a bogus report used to cover up his theft of about $3,000 with the help of Marshall Kelly Miller, 41, of Beulah, who faces a felony conspiracy charge.

Benzie County Prosecutor Sara Swanson said Eberhard on Tuesday entered a plea to attempted embezzlement of $1,000 or more but less than $20,000, a charge that carries a 2.5-year maximum penalty. The plea agreement drops charges of false reporting and conspiracy to commit embezzlement. No sentencing date has been set.

Miller is scheduled for a preliminary exam in 85th District Court on Aug. 22. Swanson said Eberhard’s plea agreement did not include a condition he testify against Miller.



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