Police said 52-year-old Bong Soo Kim, who worked at the Korean Times for more than 20 years, persuaded area businesses to buy ads in the paper, and then had them make the checks out to him personally.
Kim was arrested at his Fullerton home on Wednesday morning. Police say he confessed to the embezzlement, saying he was trying to help his wife's failing business.
He is being held at the Central Men's Jail in Santa Ana in lieu of $140,431 bail on suspicion of grand theft and embezzlement.
City News Service contributed to this report.