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San Diego

September 11, 1986

A former General Dynamics executive and his secretary pleaded guilty to grand theft in a scheme to bilk the company of more than $25,000.

Walter Merle Carlson, 56, of La Mesa, and Bernice Marie Padua, 43, of San Diego, will be sentenced Oct. 23.

The pair admitted their guilt at their arraignment before San Diego Municipal Judge Fred Link after being charged Friday.

An East County real estate broker, Kathryn Elizabeth Padilla, 54, of San Carlos, is also charged and pleaded innocent Wednesday to the charges. Link set an Oct. 9 preliminary hearing and allowed her to remain free on her own recognizance.

Carlson allegedly ordered fictitious business invoices at a printing shop and then had checks drawn for the non-existent firms from April, 1984, through last July, when both Carlson and Padua were terminated from the Convair division of General Dynamics.

Padilla was alleged to have endorsed those checks by depositing them in her own bank account and then writing a check to Carlson.

"I fabricated invoices during this period," admitted Carlson to the judge. "We were paid checks. I kept (the money) for myself," he added.

Padua admitted she helped Carlson prepare the checks.

Link dismissed the conspiracy count against Carlson and Padua and allowed them to remain free on their own recognizance after first being booked into jail and released.

They could receive state prison terms of three years each.

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