ELKTON — A man is facing more than 25 years in prison after a Cecil County Circuit Court jury convicted him of embezzlement and theft scheme in a case in which he stole over $100,000 from an Elkton-area company over a six-year period while employed there.
Jurors deliberated approximately three hours Thursday at the conclusion of the three-day-long trial, before finding the defendant, Eric Zachariah Garcia-Nieves, 46, of Elkton, guilty of theft scheme of more than $100,000 — a felony that carries a maximum 25-year sentence and a $25,000 fine, and of a embezzlement misappropriation, which is a misdemeanor.
The jury also found Garcia-Neives guilty of five mirroring and lesser charges, which will merge with the other two convictions at sentencing. On one of the theft scheme of more than $100,000 charges, retired Cecil County Circuit Court Judge V. Michael Whelan granted a defense motion for judgment of acquittal at mid-trial, court records show.
Sentencing is set for July 26.
Garcia-Nieves is free on a $100,000 bond that Whelan set after the jury returned its guilty verdicts. Before setting that bond, Whelan revoked the $50,000 bond on which Garcia-Nieves had been free after his December arrest.
Assistant State’s Attorney Nathaniel Coleman Bowen prosecuted Garcia-Nieves, who was represented by Elkton-based lawyer C. Thomas Brown.
Garcia-Nieves stole more than $100,000 from Atlantic Fabricators in the 400 block of West Pulaski Highway between 2012 and 2018 while holding a fiduciary position with that company, court records show. At trial, prosecutors maintained that Garcia-Nieves used company funds to make payments on his personal credit card and that he gave himself unauthorized pay raises, which also came out of the company’s account.
Maryland State Police investigators arrested Garcia-Nieves on Dec. 18, according to court records, which also indicate that he was was released on a $50,000 unsecured bond later that day.
According to Cecil Whig archives, Atlantic Fabricators heats, molds and wields metal to construct water towers, oil tanks and similar items.