A federal jury has awarded nearly $5 million in damages to a former Wonderful Citrus Packing LLC manager in Delano after the company allegedly sent hundreds of employees emails wrongly accusing him of theft and embezzlement.

In a decision handed down Thursday in federal district court in Fresno, the jury found that the company failed to take reasonable steps to determine whether there was truth behind the allegations it made against plaintiff James K. Jordan, a more than 27-year employee of Wonderful Citrus who served as senior director if its northern farming division.

Wonderful Citrus is part of Los Angeles-based The Wonderful Co., Kern County’s largest farming company and owner of the popular Halos brand of mandarins.

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