$118,000 Embezzelment

A local man is facing charges of grand theft of $100,000 or more.

Panama City police say from April to November of this year 30-year-old James Hidle operated a business on 23rd Street. It was an authorized dealer for a nationwide cell phone carrier.

Police say during those seven months Hidle manipulated customer accounts as well as the carrier's computer system to embezzle more than 118,000 in unauthorized commissions.

The theft was discovered after company officials conducted an internal audit. Investigators say Hidle confessed to taking the money illegally.