State v. Fink, ___ N.C. App. ___, 798 S.E.2d 537 (Mar. 21, 2017)

In this larceny by employee case, the trial court did not err by admitting 404(b) evidence. The charges arose out of a 2014 incident in which the defendant, a manager of an auto shop, kept for himself cash paid by a customer for auto repairs. At trial, an officer testified that in 2010 he investigated the defendant for embezzlement. The defendant, who was working as a restaurant manager, admitted stealing from the restaurant by voiding out cash transactions and keeping the cash for himself. The court found that evidence showing that the defendant embezzled from a previous employer four years prior was clearly relevant to show intent, plan, or absence of mistake or accident. In both cases, the defendant worked for the business, held a managerial position, took cash paid and intended for the business, kept the cash for himself, and manipulated accounting procedures to cover his tracks. The prior incident was sufficiently similar to the current one and was not too remote in time. Additionally, the trial court gave a proper limiting instruction.