The Specialty Coffee Association of America said today its former chief operating officer, Scott Welker, was sentenced to federal prison Monday for embezzling more than $465,000.00 from the association.

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The Specialty Coffee Association of America said today its former chief operating officer, Scott Welker, was sentenced to federal prison Monday for embezzling more than $465,000.00 from the association.

Welker’s 33-month jail term will start in January, the agency said on its blog. Days after he resigned from SCAA in 2005, management found accounting irregularities that led to a financial crisis, taking the organization to the brink of bankruptcy, the agency says on its blog.

SCAA members contributed a quarter of a million dollars beyond their membership dues to keep it running. Ted Lingle, who was executive director at the time of the embezzlement, was at the sentencing in U.S. Federal Court in Santa Ana, California.

“It is gratifying to me to see the justice system confirm that great harm was done and the crime deserves to be punished,” he said on the SCAA blog.

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