CORUNNA — A Flint man who pleaded guilty in 2017 to embezzling from a local trucking firm saw the felony charge reduced to a misdemeanor Friday by 35th Circuit Court Judge Matthew Stewart.

“I don’t want to go to jail,” Antwaine Jathrel Poplar-Bey, 50, told Stewart. “I did everything that you asked me to do, your honor. Last year was a bad year for me, but I did everything you asked me to.”

Stewart replied: “Mr. Poplar-Bey, you did good … You did what you were supposed to do, so congratulations, you are not going to go to prison.”

Poplar-Bey was charged in April 2017 with embezzling between $1,000 and $20,000 from the trucking business.

In June 2017, he pleaded guilty to the embezzlement charge. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dismissed a habitual offender notice and recommended probation if he paid restitution up front.

Poplar-Bey was sentenced by the judge July 28, 2017, and ordered to serve one year of probation and to pay nearly $2,220 in restitution after misappropriating funds as a truck driver for Davis-Cartage, a Corunna trucking company with warehouses in Corunna, Owosso and Niles.

Previously, a company spokesperson said Poplar-Bey took close to $2,600 from the company over the course of a few days in December 2016, after cash payments made to him were not turned over to the company.

“If he had just come back with the cash this would have never happened,” Patricia Forsyth, human resource manager at Davis Cartage, said at the time.

According to Forsyth, delivery drivers often receive either cash or checks — which typically go toward paying for delivery costs — to return to the company after making a delivery.

Poplar-Bey was fired by the company Dec. 14, 2016, shortly after the company became aware of his transgressions. He had worked there about four months, Forsyth previously said.

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