FARGO — Prosecutors have charged a Moorhead man with embezzling more than $80,000 from a distillery in downtown Fargo.

Justin Richard Eskildsen faces a Class A felony count of theft by deception for allegedly stealing money from Proof Artisan Distillers, 414 4th Ave. N., according to papers filed Tuesday, July 9, in Cass County District Court.

Over the course of his employment at the distillery from October 2015 to December 2018, Eskildsen allegedly kept proceeds from food sales and under-reported cash transactions, court papers show.

Eskildsen worked as the manager and executive chef of the distillery's tasting room, and had control of the tasting room's cash register and sales software, court papers show.

Court documents say Eskildsen implemented a system of reimbursing staff with cash for tips that were paid via credit cards.

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Eskildsen allegedly claimed that the amount of cash purchases were less than the cash payouts handed out as tip reimbursements and requested cash to replenish the registers, court papers show.

The distillery owners noticed an increase in cash surplus when a new employee was given Eskildsen's duties after his resignation in December 2018, court papers show.

Documents provided to authorities by the distillery owners allege that the estimated amount believed to be under-reported, missing and embezzled by Eskildsen is about $81,000, court papers show.

Efforts to reach Eskildsen for comment on the allegations Tuesday were unsuccessful. Joel Kath, president of Proof Artisan Distillers, declined to comment on the charges at this time.