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June 13, 1992 | From Associated Press
The former mayor of Waterbury, Conn., who prosecutors said used his six years in office to enrich himself and his cronies, then boasted that he was too smart to get caught, was sentenced Friday to nine years in prison. Former Mayor Joseph J. Santopietro, 33, was convicted in April of taking $125,000 in payoffs from developers in the late 1980s and using thousands of dollars in federal grant money for personal pleasures, including a massage.
April 15, 2014 | By Ryan Menezes
A former Compton Fire Department battalion chief pleaded no contest Tuesday to felony charges of arson of property and embezzlement by a public official. Marcel Melanson, 38, was accused of stealing valuable city-owned radio equipment, then setting a fire to cover up the theft. He is expected to be sentenced to three years and four months in state prison, a prosecutor said. Melanson must pay restitution, but the amount is still being determined, the prosecutor added. As a result of the plea, authorities dropped the more severe charge of arson of a structure and a second embezzlement count.
Financially troubled Teachers Management & Investment Corp. and its two managers agreed Wednesday to pay investors $4 million in cash to settle accusations that they misappropriated real estate partnership funds and caused more than $200 million in losses. The settlement, which is subject to court approval, stems from a lawsuit that investors filed last year against the Newport Beach investment company, set up to help teachers throughout the state save money for retirement.
April 7, 2014 | By Brittany Levine
A former Glendale councilman who pleaded guilty to embezzlement, perjury and filing false tax returns related to the loss of at least $304,000 from a local farmers market was sentenced Monday to one year in jail. John Drayman shook his head as he was handcuffed in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom, where Superior Court Judge Stephen Marcus called him a "disgraced" ex-mayor who had shown no remorse. "In common parlance, you're a crook," the judge said. After pleading guilty to the felony charges last month, Drayman was ordered to pay about $305,000 in restitution for losses tied to the Montrose farmers market.
July 24, 1995
Recently in the mail, I received my renewal membership materials form the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum. I began taking my now 11-year-old son to the museum when he was 4. We have been official members since 1989. For the last two years, I have held a patron-level membership. As a single mother on a tight budget, this is a major expenditure; however, considering the educational benefits my son and I have reaped from the museum, I have always seen it as a wise investment.
September 30, 2008 | From the Associated Press
The former manager of the Yucca Valley Airport has pleaded guilty to embezzling $1.3 million in state money. Prosecutors say Richard Demel pleaded guilty to seven counts of embezzlement Monday in San Bernardino. Deputy Dist. Atty. Lewis Cope says Demel applied for a state grant to repair airport runways in 2003. When the check came, he deposited it in a new bank account and disappeared. Airport officials did not learn about the grant until 2007 when the governor's office called for a status report on the runways.
April 17, 1999 | KURT STREETER
A Chatsworth couple are in custody following their arrest this week on suspicion of bilking the estate of a deceased man out of nearly $250,000. District attorney's investigators arrested Isabel Bernstein, 55, and her husband Paul, 56, Thursday on suspicion of grand theft, forgery and tax evasion, all stemming from an alleged embezzlement involving the estate of Harry Popkin, a wealthy Beverly Hills man, authorities said.
January 5, 1997
No charitable organization wants to be the focus of a story like the one written on the embezzlement of funds from SRO Housing Corp. (Dec. 24). The harm is compounded fourfold by damage caused to the trust SRO has earned through over a decade of compassionate work with the homeless in Skid Row. It will take time to overcome the injury created by one dishonest employee. However, the powerful lesson of the article should not be overlooked by other nonprofit agencies. People who work in nonprofits and serve on boards of directors tend to operate with high levels of trust.
May 7, 2003 | From Times Staff Reports
A local bookkeeper on Tuesday pleaded no contest to two counts of forgery, one count of grand theft and four counts of filing false state income tax returns linked to embezzling from her Long Beach employer, state tax officials said. Linda Anne Braun, 48, of Lake Elsinore, also known as Linda Anne Lopez, embezzled more than $1 million from a Long Beach consulting business over four years starting in 1996, said Barry Gilbert of the California Franchise Tax Board.
August 12, 1993 | JEFF McDONALD
A longtime controller for a Thousand Oaks actuarial firm sentenced to prison for embezzling more than $111,000 was granted an appeal Wednesday on the restitution portion of his sentence. Nooshin Zahab, a 43-year-old Reseda man who for five years worked as the controller for Advanced Benefits Systems, must only pay a restitution fine of $10,000, rather than the $20,000 penalty imposed last year by Ventura County Superior Court Judge James M. McNally.
March 12, 2014 | By Brittany Levine
Former Glendale City Councilman John Drayman is set to spend a year behind bars and pay roughly $305,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to three felonies related to embezzling from a local farmers market. He also agreed to pay about $14,000 in restitution to the California Franchise Tax Board. He is scheduled to return to Los Angeles County Superior Court on April 7 and will likely serve his sentence in County Jail. He will also be given five years' probation. In September, Judge Stephen Marcus rejected Drayman's proposition that included 300 hours of community service and restitution, but no time behind bars.
March 1, 2014 | By Mikael Wood
A business executive who stole nearly $400,000 from the rock band Pearl Jam was sentenced Friday in Washington state to 14 months in prison. Rickey Goodrich, former chief financial officer for Pearl Jam's management company, pleaded guilty in December to six counts of first-degree theft "for using company accounts to pay personal debts and fund lavish family vacations, spa treatments, life insurance and pricey California wines," according ...
February 13, 2014 | By Abby Sewell
The former executive director of a foundation set up to help needy students at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College was arrested Thursday on suspicion of embezzlement and public corruption. Jiah Rhea Chung, 43, was arrested by investigators with the Los Angeles County district attorney's office and is suspected of embezzling nearly $140,000 while she served as the foundation's director between 2009 and 2011, authorities said. The Times reported on issues surrounding Chung's pay and benefits in early 2012.
January 30, 2014 | By Richard Winton and Ruben Vives
A former top official for the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles on Wednesday pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of money laundering. Channing Smack, 51, of Marina del Rey, was also ordered to pay about $370,000 that prosecutors say he embezzled from the youth organization known for its annual cookie sales. Girl Scout officials say about $250,000 of that amount has already been recovered. “We were outraged that a trusted member of our staff would violate the fundamental values we teach our girls every day,” said  Carol Dedrich, the organization's chief external relations officer.
December 23, 2013 | By Robert J. Lopez
An Orange County construction firm owner and his project administrator have been charged with defrauding employees after allegedly taking $330,000 in wages from two public works contracts, authorities said Monday. Mustafa Mohamed Bdaiwi, 41, who owns Malcon Civils Inc., is accused of submitting fraudulent and false payroll records in connection with projects for the the cities of Irvine and Hemet, according to the Orange County district attorney's office. Antonio Naranjo Jr., 40, is also charged with embezzling funds from the two projects.
October 17, 2013 | By Stuart Pfeifer
The former chief financial officer of an Orange County technology company was sentenced to more than four years in federal prison for stealing about $15 million from the company. Jean Joseph Ibrahim pleaded guilty in 2012 to a charge related to the embezzlement from his employer, Trustin Technology, which worked with companies such as Apple Inc. and IBM. He was sentenced Wednesday to 50 months in prison and ordered to repay the company. With complete access to the Irvine company's finances, Ibrahim wired money from Trustin accounts to his personal investment accounts and manipulated the company's books in an attempt to conceal the theft, the U.S. attorney's office in Santa Ana said.
October 11, 2013 | By Richard Winton
Rialto schools chief Harold Cebrun denied Friday that he had an "intimate relationship" with a district accountant accused of embezzling $1.8 million after photos emerged that he says show the pair hugging and him giving her a brief kiss. Nutritional services accountant Judith Oakes, 48, was arrested in August after being seen on video stuffing cash in her bra. She pleaded not guilty Wednesday to 16 felonies and was being held in lieu of $1.8-million bail in what authorities have called the largest white-collar crime in city history.
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