TOPEKA, KAN. – A Lawrence man pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to embezzling more than $1 million from his company and his business partners, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.
Mark W. Elzea, 55, Lawrence, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of interstate transportation of stolen funds.
In his plea, Elzea admitted the crime occurred while he was controller and part owner of Pur-O-Zone, a janitorial and cleaning equipment business located in Lawrence. In 2004, Elzea began embezzling funds from Pur-O-Zone and his three business partners who also owned part of the business. The crime came to light in May 2014 when one of the partners was contacted by a vendor about not having received a check. The partners discovered numerous unauthorized checks signed by Elzea and made payable to Cardmember Service Chase Bank in Illinois.
In his plea, Elzea agrees to a forfeiture money judgment and order of restitution in the amount of $1 million.
Sentencing is set for Dec. 19. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. Grissom commended the FBI and Assistant U.S. Attorney Rich Hathaway for their work on the case.