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SIOUX CITY -- A worker at a Sioux City hotel has pleaded not guilty to making more than $32,000 in fraudulent credit card transactions.

Ethan Ehlers, 19, of Sioux City, entered his written plea Friday in Woodbury County District Court to charges of first-degree theft and credit card fraud.

According to court documents, from May 14 to Sept. 8, Ehlers, who worked at the front desk of the Howard Johnson hotel, 707 Fourth St., fraudulently overcharged guests' credit cards. Once a guest's credit card had been charged, Ehlers would force a refund through the hotel's computer system onto his own personal credit card.

An investigation discovered that Ehlers charged and refunded $32,703, court documents said.

The investigation showed that Ehlers and his manager, who has not yet been arrested, came up with the scheme and agreed to split the profits. Ehlers admitted to the scheme and cooperated with investigators, court documents said.

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