Bookstore worker gets probation for $14,000 theft

A former GW Bookstore employee pleaded guilty Tuesday in Superior Court to stealing more than $14,000 from the bookstore through fraudulent credit card returns and was ordered to pay restitution and serve probation.

Marco Pareja, 30, pleaded guilty to second-degree theft, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Miller. He was sentenced to 39 months of probation and ordered to repay the bookstore for the full $14,971 he had stolen, Miller said.

If Pareja violates his probation, he will have to serve 180 days in prison. The maximum penalty for second-degree theft is 180 days in prison and a $1,000 fine. Pareja was originally charged with first-degree theft.

Bookstore director Patricia Lee made a statement at Pareja’s sentencing, Miller said. Lee previously told The Hatchet that the bookstore does not comment on current or past employees.

Pareja, a Silver Spring, Md., resident, made eight fictitious refunds to his and a friend’s credit card between February and August of this year, according to court documents. In early September, he confessed to Lee and the Financial Crime and Fraud Unit of the Metropolitan Police Department because the theft was weighing heavily on his mind, the documents state.

Neither Pareja nor his attorney could be reached for comment.

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