Cedar City man sentenced after embezzling $650,000

CEDAR CITY — A Cedar City man who pleaded guilty to second-degree felony theft of $650,000 from his employer was sentenced Thursday to one year in Iron County Jail as part of a plea agreement with the Iron County Attorney’s Office.

Nathan Brent Esplin, Iron County booking photo | Photo courtesy of the Iron County Sheriff's Office, St. George News
Nathan Brent Esplin, Iron County booking photo | Photo courtesy of the Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Nathan Brent Esplin was employed as the treasurer and chief accounting officer for Leavitt Group Enterprises, Cedar City Police Detective Tim Bonzo said in a probable cause statement. Esplin embezzled the money over a 10-year period by inflating and fabricating expense and travel reimbursements.

As part of his plea deal, Esplin will not be required to spend any time in prison, Iron County Attorney Scott Garrett said. Instead, he will be incarcerated within the Iron County Jail for a one-year term.

According to court documents, Esplin will have 30 days after sentencing to draft a letter indicating his life plan for the upcoming years. Once Esplin is released from jail, he will be required to complete 100 hours of community service and serve 36 months of probation.

Esplin was also required to pay $650,000 in restitution back to Leavitt Group Enterprises, Garrett said. He has since paid back $500,000 and Traveler’s Insurance paid an additional $150,000, making Leavitt Group Enterprises paid back in full.

As another condition of Esplin’s plea deal, he will have the option of a 402-reduction, Garret said. This means that after four years, if he has paid all his debts — including the $150,000 to Traveler’s Insurance — and complied with all other conditions of the deal, the charge of a second-degree felony could be reduced to a class A misdemeanor.

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  • Red Rocker September 23, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    If you are going to be a criminal, be a white collar one, and live in Utah.

  • Joanna September 23, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    I’m sure his fellow prisoners will appreciate his purty mouth. Ugh, what a dumb crime.

  • Billy September 23, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Wow what a bargain. He must really have some good connections. Just my opinion

    • Redrock lover September 23, 2014 at 9:51 pm

      Yep- you are right! Buddies with the county attorney Garrett, was in a bishopbric with Leavitt, it goes on and on. He’s only sorry he was caught- all the time he was a self-righteous LDS church leader judging everyone else and calling them out on their “sins”. From what I heard – he used some of the money for very scandalous activities…he’s got one sweet deal. There is something to that whole Iron County Corruption thing.

  • Zonkerb September 23, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    Lmao what a joke the judge and him must attend the same ward

  • AND JUSTICE FOR ALL September 24, 2014 at 10:02 am

    The same behavior that enabled him steal perpetually and deliberately for 9+ years (among other unpublished “scandalous” activities), is the same behavior that enabled him to get the charges reduced to 1 count and avoid prison time. This is the manipulation of a sociopath at it’s finest – behaving like the model citizen on the surface, feigning sorrow and repentance while simultaneously calculating his next deceitful move. He will pander for sympathy and pity from those who determine his fate, portraying himself as the victim, and conjuring up the necessary tears at just the right moment. He is only interested in those who can further his cause. His fan club is extremely small, influential, and obviously very easily influenced. The amount of time served in relation to the the crime is unprecedented and the idea of a 402 reduction is preposterous. His ability to keep the remainder of his illegal deeds unpublished is astonishing. Just remember who your elected officials are.

    • Redrock lover September 24, 2014 at 5:50 pm

      I agree! And the prosecutors involved in Iron County should NEVER be appointed as judges! The have favorites – and play favorites! Clearly a horrible person living dual life and only sorry because he was caught. Miscarriage of justice for sure.

  • opie September 24, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Almost hard to believe. There are two justice systems in this country. Period. Look like a “Good Guy” and you get off. Look like a bad guy and they will take you to jail for littering. 650Gs….. 1 year in county Jail?? Does anyone wonder why some people hate law enforcment and the system??

  • John September 24, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    The LDS system.

  • SSfreeze September 24, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    His last name says it all. It’s good to have an established inbred name.

  • Bobber September 25, 2014 at 12:02 am

    LOL, he just happened to have 500,000 laying around the house? I’m sure there’s plenty more hidden away…

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