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December 31, 2010 | By Sergei L. Loiko, Los Angeles Times
A former tycoon who challenged the rule of Russian leader Vladimir Putin was sentenced to remain in prison until at least 2017 after his conviction this week on embezzlement and money-laundering charges in a politically charged case widely condemned in the West. Judge Viktor Danilkin sentenced Mikhail Khodorkovsky to 14 years in prison to be served concurrently with a previous eight-year term that he was soon to complete. It was not immediately clear when Khodorkovsky would gain his freedom: The judge implied that the new term would keep him behind bars until 2020, but his defense team said the term would be calculated to start with his arrest in 2003.
October 23, 2010 | By Sergei L. Loiko, Los Angeles Times
Russian prosecutors said Friday they would seek a 14-year prison sentence for onetime oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who is on trial for embezzlement and money laundering while already in his seventh year of incarceration on a tax evasion conviction, all charges he has vehemently denied. Khodorkovsky, once the head of Yukos Oil and the richest man in Russia, is widely seen as the nation's leading political prisoner and a personal foe of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The current trial is seen by some observers as a referendum on whether Russia has changed since Putin was succeeded as president by Dmitry Medvedev, a lawyer who has complained about judicial corruption and manipulation, which he described as "legal nihilism.
May 15, 2010 | By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
A veteran Los Angeles police detective has been charged with embezzling more than $30,000 in city funds that were supposed to be used to protect and relocate three witnesses to crimes in South Los Angeles. Det. Leonard Avalos, 44, is expected to be arraigned next week on one charge of embezzlement by an officer and six felony counts of grand theft, authorities said Friday. Avalos was taken into custody without incident Thursday by Los Angeles Police Department detectives while he was off duty in Placentia, LAPD Det. Gus Villanueva said.
April 1, 2010 | By Catherine Saillant
Residents of Fillmore followed their usual rhythms this week, gathering at the local Starbucks to hash out recent events as giant farm tractors and motorists rolled by on nearby California 126. Talk turned to Pete Egedi, the town's former fire chief, who has been under a cloud since he was accused two years ago of embezzling tens of thousands of city dollars. The latest news about Egedi is like a black eye on City Hall that won't go away, residents say. During a recent court hearing in Ventura, prosecutors alleged that Egedi tapped a city account to write at least $27,000 in checks to himself and his wife, buying a flat-screen TV among other things.
March 27, 2010 | By John M. Glionna
When corporate ethics activist Kim Gun-ho heard that convicted tax evader Lee Kun-hee had returned as chairman of Samsung Electronics, he winced and thought: "Here we go again." And who could blame him? In recent years, executives at some of South Korea's top companies have been convicted of crimes such as accounting fraud, embezzlement and breach of duty. Their sentences reduced, many have returned to their jobs. Some never left them. "Most of the chairmen at the 10 biggest companies are convicts," said Kim, a senior official at the Citizens' Coalition for Economic Justice, which has lobbied for more accountability from South Korean companies.
March 25, 2010 | By Richard Fausset
Richard Jackson was walking past the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's handsome $3-million headquarters this month, just blocks from the grave of its first president, Martin Luther King Jr. Jackson, an aspiring rap producer, hadn't heard about the outbreak of scandal and infighting rocking the storied civil rights group. But the 32-year-old also confessed, a little sheepishly, that he had trouble recalling their story at all: "Who are they, exactly?" he said. Such is the plight of the modern-day SCLC.
March 15, 2010 | By Nathaniel Popper
In the current wave of failures of federally insured banks, none occurred in New York City until late last week, when two small Manhattan financial institutions went under, with each collapse notable in its own way. The chief executive of Park Avenue Bank, which was seized by regulators Friday, was arrested Monday, charged with embezzlement, bribery and fraud, including lying in an application for the Treasury Department's Troubled Asset Relief...
February 16, 2010 | By Bob Pool
On the golf course, a little undercounting is not unheard of as players shave a stroke or two from this hole or that one to make their score more bearable back at the clubhouse. But at the tiny clubhouse in Brentwood, two employees of a golf course operated by the Veterans Affairs Medical Center have made the biggest score of all, authorities say: by undercounting greens fees and concessionaire profits and pocketing thousands of dollars. The two have been fired and are awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to theft of government funds from the popular links.
October 27, 2009 | Ju-min Park
Disgraced South Korean cloning scientist Hwang Woo-suk was found guilty Monday of embezzling from his stem cell research fund and illegally buying human embryos. The Seoul court also ruled that Hwang, 56, who became a national hero after he claimed to be the first to successfully clone human stem cells, had partially fabricated the results of his research. He was given a 2-year sentence that was suspended provided he stayed out of trouble with the law for the next three years. "He feels deeply sorry that this case elicited so much criticism in the scientific field and shocked the public.
August 20, 2009 | Alexandra Zavis
A Baptist minister was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of embezzling more than $800,000 from the church he leads in Compton to pay for personal luxuries, including an expensive car and swimming pool, officials said. The Rev. E. Joshua Sims, 47, pastor at Double Rock Baptist Church in Compton, was taken into custody without incident about 9:30 a.m. at his home in Corona, said Steve Whitmore, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Sims' arrest concludes an 11-month sheriff's investigation, Whitmore said.
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