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State workers arrested in bribery, fraud case, attorney general says

July 23, 2013|By Patrick McGreevy
  • California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris, shown in a file photo, announced the arrest of two state workers and a contractor in a bribery and fraud case.
California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris, shown in a file photo, announced the… (Damian Dovarganes / Associated…)

Two state employees have been arrested and charged with accepting bribes from a contractor accused of defrauding the state, Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris announced Tuesday.

Michael Mathison, owner of Veteran Toners Services, allegedly supplied inflated quotes to the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the California Department of Transportation  for office supplies, overcharging the state by at least $50,000.

Mathison, 50, of San Pedro produced counterfeit quotes from nonexistent competitors with higher prices, and his firm was awarded the office supplies business at the original inflated price, the complaint alleges.

In return for giving the company the contract, Stephanie Clark, who worked for the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Danny Gray Compson, a Caltrans worker, received kickbacks in the form of money orders, a vacation to Disneyland and gift cards, the complaint alleges.

"These workers conspired to defraud taxpayers for personal gain," Harris said in a statement. "We take government fraud very seriously."

Clark, 42, of Fair Oaks took more than 50 bribes for a total of $23,800 over the course of five years, the complaint alleges. Agents discovered more than 50 postal money orders deposited to Clark’s bank account.

Compson, 62, of Yuba City allegedly submitted invoices worth as much as $5,000 a week to be paid, but he never received the product, the complaint says.

An anonymous tip sparked the yearlong investigation, which included six search warrants served this week, some at state office buildings.

Clark and Compson were booked into the Sacramento and Sutter county jails, respectively, on $75,000 bail each, while Mathison was booked into the Los Angeles County Jail with bail set at $250,000, officials said.

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patrick.mcgreevy@latimes.com

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