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Employee Misconduct

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 6, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A former employee of the Drug Enforcement Administration pleaded guilty Thursday to illegally profiting from his position by taking money from a DEA vendor that he managed, federal authorities said. Leopoldo B. Villanueva, 63, admitted that he received $13,500 from Redline Towing at the same time he was working for the DEA as a contracting officer in charge of negotiating and managing contracts with vendors.
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BUSINESS
April 5, 2007 | From the Associated Press
Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s normally low-profile security efforts were thrust into the limelight Wednesday when a fired technician alleged he had been part of a large surveillance operation that spied on company workers, critics, vendors and consultants. The company defended its security practices. The world's largest retailer declined to comment on specific allegations made by 19-year veteran Bruce Gabbard to the Wall Street Journal in a report published Wednesday.
BUSINESS
March 15, 2007 | Michelle Quinn and Marc Lifsher, Times Staff Writers
The state criminal case against former Hewlett-Packard Co. Chairwoman Patricia C. Dunn and three others -- involving a corporate spying scandal that led to congressional hearings and an enhanced state privacy law -- has ended with a whimper. Dunn was cleared of all charges Wednesday by Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Ray Cunningham.
BUSINESS
March 15, 2007 | From the Associated Press
New Century Financial Corp. said Wednesday that it had received cease-and-desist orders from banking regulators in four states, claiming that some subsidiaries of the troubled sub-prime mortgage lender have violated state laws. Regulators from New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New Jersey sent notices to the Irvine-based company on Tuesday, according to its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 14, 2007 | Seema Mehta, Times Staff Writer
As parents at a South County Roman Catholic school have grown increasingly riled by the mysterious dismissals of two popular teachers, a church official said Tuesday that the allegations against the two men did not involve sexual conduct with a minor. Maria Rullo Schinderle, general counsel for the Diocese of Orange, declined to comment further about the dismissals of Eric Hansen and Gregory Rhodes, teachers at Santa Margarita Catholic High School.
BUSINESS
March 9, 2007 | From Bloomberg News
Video game maker Activision Inc. said Thursday that investigators conducting an internal probe of stock option grants had recommended that 10 current and former executives and directors give up any related gains. The investigators found that four current or former executives were at least partly responsible for misdated grants, but the inquiry didn't determine whether there was any intentional wrongdoing by those executives, Santa Monica-based Activision said.
BUSINESS
March 2, 2007 | Walter Hamilton and Thomas S. Mulligan, Times Staff Writers
Wall Street executive Mitchel Guttenberg sat down with his friend Erik Franklin in Manhattan's famed Oyster Bar about five years ago to discuss repaying a $25,000 loan. But instead of cash, Guttenberg allegedly offered a currency that's far more valuable on Wall Street: inside information about dozens of stock analyst recommendations at his firm, financial services powerhouse UBS.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 22, 2007 | Ashley Surdin, Times Staff Writer
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power ran up a $97-million overtime bill over an 11-month period, with some money going to employees who did not show up for work, an internal audit has found. The study, ordered by the board that oversees the nation's largest municipal utility, also found that some employees reported both overtime and absences on the same days. The 2 million hours of overtime were incurred between March 2005 and February 2006.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 21, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Three Seal Beach Jail workers will be arraigned today on charges they stole a Sony PlayStation from an inmate and then manipulated documents to cover up the crime, authorities said Tuesday. Victor Calzada, 29, Fred Madrigal, 21, and Michael Navarro, 22, all non-city employees, are accused of taking the video console in September 2006 from an inmate who was transferred from Seal Beach to the Orange County Jail for failing to comply with a work release program.
NATIONAL
February 13, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
A bookkeeper pleaded guilty to embezzling $6.9 million to pay for such things as a ranch in Vermont, a life-size statue of Al Capone and a private performance by singer Burt Bacharach, federal authorities said. Angela Buckborough Platt, 43, pocketed the money over six years while an accountant for J & J Materials Corp. in Rehoboth, federal prosecutors said. Under the plea deal, Platt must pay back all of the money and prosecutors will recommend a prison sentence.
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