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Ex-Nature Center Director Ordered to Repay Embezzled Funds

Downtown Grand Rapids
City of Grand Rapids, Planning Dept.
Grand Rapids' downtown riverfront.

A former nature center director in western Michigan has been ordered to repay money embezzled from the facility or face a potential 90 days in jail.

The Grand Rapids Press reports 36-year-old David Andrew Kieft was given a deferred jail term Tuesday at his sentencing for embezzlement.

Kieft apologized and said he is working two part-time jobs to help repay the funds.

Kieft, who resigned as director of the Howard Christensen Nature Center near Kent City in August, also was ordered to complete three years of probation and serve for 200 hours on a work crew.

Kieft estimates he owes about $4,000, but nature center volunteers say it's about $16,000.

In a statement to the judge, the nature center board's treasurer said the embezzlement has threatened the center's existence.

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