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Orange County

Employee Charged With Theft

Former police officer is accused of selling $2 million worth of computers purchased for his company.

March 24, 2004|Regine Labossiere | Times Staff Writer

A former El Monte police officer who was fired for theft has been arrested on charges of reselling $2 million worth of laptops he bought with the credit card of his Aliso Viejo employer, the Orange County Sheriff's Department said Tuesday.

Steven Duane Ford, 51, of Yorba Linda had been working for Covenant Care Corp., which operates nursing homes, since 2001.

He was given a credit card and an account so he could buy computer equipment for the company, Sheriff's Lt. Dave Wilson said.

Instead of turning over the computers to Covenant Care, Ford resold them and kept the money.

Wilson said most of the laptops were made by Toshiba or Sony.

After noticing a $2-million loss in its list of expenditures, Wilson said, Covenant Care notified the Sheriff's Department about a month ago.

Deputies recovered 10 laptops from Ford, Wilson said.

Ford was charged with grand theft and has been released on bail, pending his arraignment.

Ford was fired for theft in 1987 when he was a officer with the El Monte Police Department, but Police Lt. Craig Sperry said he did not recall any details.

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