York CFO gets probation, stole $600K
The former chief financial officer of York City-based Lifestyle Foods, who police said embezzled more than $600,000 from his employer, has avoided prison as part of a plea agreement that instead focuses on repaying the money he stole, a prosecutor said.
Pradeep "Mike" Jaipaul, 37, of 1 Graystone Manor Drive in Hampden Township, Cumberland County, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of third-degree felony theft by failure to make required disposition, according to senior deputy prosecutor Jonathan Blake.
On Tuesday, Jaipaul was sentenced to seven years of probation and ordered to pay restitution, court records state.
The amount of restitution has not yet been determined, although that's expected to be done in the next 30 days, according to Blake. In Pennsylvania criminal cases, judges have 30 days after sentencing to approve a restitution amount, he said.
Blake said he doesn't expect the Camp Hill-area defendant to dispute the amount once it's set. When a defendant does dispute how much he should repay his victim, a restitution hearing is ordered and the presiding common pleas judge decides, the prosecutor said.
"He's going to have a significant amount of restitution to pay back, and he needs to get started on making things right," Blake said.
The prosecutor confirmed his office consulted with Lifestyle Foods, which supported the plea agreement.
Probation modifications: Also as part of Jaipaul's negotiated plea agreement, both sides agreed his probation could be modified to nonreporting probation after three years, so Jaipaul doesn't have to make regular visits to his probation officer, and both sides agreed his probation can end after five years if Jaipaul has repaid all his court costs and restitution, court records state.
He was charged with various counts of theft as well as receiving stolen property and access device fraud in February 2013, records state.
Korey Leslie, his defense attorney, declined comment. Jaipaul could not be reached for comment.
Jaipaul worked for Lifestyle Foods, 600 N. Hartley St., since the company formed in January 2007 and was solely responsible for maintaining all financial records from then until late 2012, according to court documents.
York City Police said he stole $630,612 of the company's money. Charging documents filed by Officer Jeremy Mayer state he spent the funds, in part, on gasoline, restaurant meals, a gym membership, hotel and travel expenses and ATM cash withdrawals, as well as at home-improvement stores.
Wired money: Jaipaul also wired money to international companies that were not vendors of Lifestyle Foods and transferred and wired money to his personal bank account and to his wife's bank account, documents state.
Authorities were alerted to the alleged embezzlement scheme when Lifestyle Foods founder and CEO Jason Bross contacted police in January after an internal investigation into Jaipaul, according to police.
At the time of Jaipaul's arrest, Bross confirmed Jaipaul was no longer employed by the company. Bross could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Lifestyle Foods produces nutritious, ready-to-eat salads, sandwiches and snacks, according to its website.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.