San Juan man sentenced to 15 days for felony theft

A San Juan Island man who used a company-issued fuel card to keep his own vehicle gassed up for more than a year was ordered to serve 15 days in jail and to reimburse his former employer nearly $1,500 after pleading no-contest to felony theft.

On Dec. 2, John Randell Berg, also known as "Randy" Berg, pleaded no-contest in San Juan County Superior Court to one count of second-degree theft, a Class C felony. Berg, 46, was sentenced to 15 days in jail but will be allowed to serve out those 15 days on work crew, under supervision of the Sheriff's Department and at his own expense.

Berg also was ordered to pay $1,650 in fines and fees, and to pay $1,489 in restitution to Aeronautical Services, where he worked for nearly seven years as a delivery driver.

According to court documents, Berg was fired from the Friday Harbor-based delivery company in mid-July for reasons other than the fraudulent use of the gas card that he used on daily delivery routes. Company officials reportedly happened upon a series of financial discrepancies involving that gas card three days after he was terminated.

A Class C felony, second-degree theft carries maximum penalties of five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both; however, the standard range of sentencing set by the state is 0-60 days in jail.

Berg initially pleaded innocent at an October arraignment hearing. By pleading no-contest, known as an Alford plea in Washington state, a defendant does not admit to committing the crime of which he or she is charged, but acknowledges that they would likely be convicted if the case went to trial.

Berg was slated to begin serving the 15-day sentence Dec. 5.

— Scott Rasmussen


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