Karen Epperly, 50, of Idyllwild, pleaded guilty to embezzlement before her jury trial began Tuesday, July 21. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 3. She was initially charged in December 2013 with fraud and embezzlement, and taking, damaging or destroying property of more than $100,000 in value from Community Lumber in Idyllwild over a number of years when she was employed there.
Epperly initially pleaded guilty in August 2014 and awaited a probation report, which was filed in September. At her Sept. 19 sentencing hearing, the court announced that it had read the probation report and that she was not eligible for probation.
At that hearing, Epperly then withdrew her guilty plea and entered a plea of not guilty instead, which led to the jury trial date for last week.
Before a jury was selected, she pleaded guilty to one count each of grand theft in excess of $400 and forgery. As part of the agreement with the District Attorney’s Office, those two felonies will be reduced to misdemeanors at the time of her sentencing if a $15,000 check for restitution clears and another $10,000 in restitution is paid, according to John Hall, information specialist for the District Attorney’s Office.