Man arrested after stealing nearly $700,000 over 10 years

Stock photo | St. George News

CEDAR CITY – A Cedar City man was arrested Monday after stealing nearly $700,000 over a 10 year period.

Nathan Brent Esplin, 39, is being charged with theft, a second-degree felony after stealing $682,342.55 from his employer, Leavitt Group Enterprises, dating back to 2005.

Nathan Brent Esplin, Iron County booking photo
Nathan Brent Esplin, Iron County booking photo

According to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest, Esplin was employed as the treasurer and chief accounting officer for the organization.

In March 2014, an employee of Leavitt Group Enterprises came upon several discrepancies in reported travel expenses, Cedar City Police Detective Tim Bonzo  said in the statement.

After further investigation over several weeks, strong evidence was provided to show that Esplin had been inflating and fabricating expense reimbursements for personal gain.

An internal audit was conducted identifying thefts and embezzlements that had taken place over a number of years, Bonzo said. Esplin had been stealing money by overstating business expenses, duplicating submissions for reimbursement and being reimbursed for personal expenses that he claimed were business related.

Each year Esplin continued to steal, and the amounts he allegedly took increased, for example: In 2005, it was $567.53 and in 2013 it was $186,517.48.

Esplin was booked into jail Monday with a bail of $100,000.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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14 Comments

  • Those darn legals July 3, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Esplin – now that sounds like a very familiar and common name

    • JJ July 3, 2014 at 11:21 am

      Is he related to a guy in St George named Gary?

  • Angel July 3, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    I hope Leavitt Group Enterprises gives a large bonus to the person who discovered the problem. It’s surprising that it went on that long without being noticed.

  • Mark July 3, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    A good ‘ol boy ripping off a good ‘ol co.

  • Billy July 3, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    Wow what people would do for money. Just greedy.

  • Be sweet July 3, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Hold on people… Why do you have to be so cynical ? Did anyone think that maybe he was just using that money to plan a surprise party for his boss? Or maybe he was giving it to his church or to the poor and in that case, I’m not sure it’s a crime? Does anyone know for sure if that is a crime?

  • Mrs johnson July 3, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    I think it is okay if you give to church to help others than it okay. I’m not sure about party thing but I think it’s a nice thought but he should have asked first.

  • Gig July 3, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    I don’t know if he did it or not but his hair is combed real nice:) so I would probably say he is innocent!

  • Mario July 3, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    He is wearing an Oakley shirt. Southern Utah cowboys can’t just afford that. Guilty.

  • Shonna Lorena July 3, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Good to see a local arrested and use up some of the tax money instead of all the dead beat Moveins that are burning up the USA dollars.

  • Bobby Hill July 3, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    And to think I loaned him $10…. Cheapo!

  • Crazydoglady July 3, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    A thief is a thief is a thief, no matter where they were raised or how they look! I’m glad they caught him. I hope he gets the a fair trial and sentence! Fair justice is one of this country’s founding principles. All that other nonsense people wrote in their comments is just unnecessary hate!

  • Dana July 3, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Did he tithe with some of that money? If not, excommunicate him.

  • MISGALS July 9, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    That’s just sad, no wonder we never met our goals!

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