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Accountant Pleads Guilty to Embezzling $1.5 million

(Phoenix, Ariz. – August 20, 2007) Attorney General Terry Goddard announced that former Giant Industries accountant Thomas Jaramillo, 44, of Phoenix, today pleaded guilty to embezzling nearly $1.5 million from the company. Headquartered in Scottsdale, Giant Industries is a refiner and marketer of petroleum products.

According to court documents, Jaramillo created a phony vendor and for nearly 15 years falsified purchase orders from this fictitious vendor and had checks issued to it by Giant Industries.

Jaramillo appeared today before Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Paul McMurdie and pleaded guilty to one count of theft and one count of fraud. Jaramillo will be sentenced on Dec. 19. He faces up to five years in prison, up to seven years of supervised probation following his release from prison and up to $1.5 million in restitution. As part of the plea agreement, the defendant paid $40,000 toward restitution today.

This case is the result of an investigation completed by the Arizona Attorney General’s Special Investigations Section and is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Paul Ahler.