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Former North Dakota pharmacy manager pleads not guilty to property theft

JAMESTOWN, N.D. - A former pharmacy manager accused of stealing more than $13,000 is expected to be tried by jury sometime in July, said Wanda Auka, clerk of district court at the Barnes County Courthouse.

Jerome Schmidt, 57, Valley City, who is charged with theft of property, pleaded not guilty at his preliminary hearing Wednesday.

Schmidt is accused of stealing $13,461 from Thrifty White Drug, Valley City by submitting invoices for reimbursement on purchases of photography supplies and equipment without disclosing that the photography supply dealer was giving discounts and credits on the purchases. He is also accused of retaining the difference, double billing and keeping the proceeds, according to Barnes County court documents.

Authorities say the embezzlement at Valley Drug, which is owned by Thrifty White Drug, occurred between August 2003 and August 2008.

Schmidt did not immediately return phone calls to his home Thursday.

In December, Schmidt's wife, Edie, told the Valley City Times-Record that bookkeeping errors may be to blame.

Theft of property is a Class B felony, punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.