SONOMA COUNTY -- Ryan Sawyer Merman of Santa Rosa pleaded no contest to six felony charges of embezzlement, elder fraud and forgery.

The charges arose from an investigation initiated when STX of Petaluma discovered a number of unauthorized checks had been written to Mr. Merman, who was in charge of the company finances.

Investigation revealed he had been embezzling from the victim, and elder adult, and his company since March 2002. He admitted the total loss exceeded $150,000.