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Case against man accused of embezzlement from local publishing company dropped


IDAHO FALLS — A criminal case against a man accused of defrauding a local business of $400,000 has been dropped.

The Bonneville County Prosecutor’s Office filed a motion last month to dismiss two felony counts of grand theft against 49-year-old Jonathan Wells Whitney. A judge agreed with the motion and dismissed the case.

When first published the story in 2020, Harris Publishing was accusing Whitney of embezzling the money. Whitney claimed Jason and Ryan Harris, the brothers who were accusing him, did not pay him what they agreed to pay and were slandering him.

Whitney was the former manager for 18 years of Falls Printing, one of Harris Publishing’s companies. When the criminal accusations were made, Whitney had already sued Harris Publishing.

Court records show after mediation in the civil lawsuit, a settlement was reached, according to court documents. The dismissal of the criminal charges came because of the settlement.

RELATED | Man accused of defrauding printing company of more than $400,000

The original dispute between Harris Publishing and Whitney involved a lot of back-and-forth accusations. Harris Publishing accused Whitney of using company resources for personal use, but Whitney claimed he had been given permission beforehand. According to court records, Whitney told detectives the accusations only began after a deal between him and the Harris brothers to buy the business fell through, and he was fired.

He claimed the brothers had told him the company was not profitable, and that was why he wasn’t being paid the bonuses they allegedly agreed to pay him when he was hired in 2001. Whitney also said the accusations were in retaliation against him starting his own publishing businesses and slandering him to potential clients.

With the lawsuit being settled, both parties agreed to pay their own attorney fees.

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