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Embezzlement

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NEWS
September 8, 2012
A former Irvine attorney is accused of embezzling more than $150,000 worth of insurance claims and defrauding his clients, according to prosecutors. Tuan Thanh Tran, 43, pleaded not guilty Friday to 11 felony counts of acts constituting forgery and five felony counts of embezzlement by fiduciary of trust, according to Orange County Superior Court records. Prosecutors allege that Tran represented five different clients who sought damages for traffic accidents between May 2011 and February 2012.
NEWS
June 4, 2011
A former Irvine architecture firm executive was sentenced to 13 years in prison and ordered to pay millions in fines and restitution for stealing $1.9 million from his former company. Salvatory Josef Fulwider, 38, of Yorba Linda, was ordered to pay $3.3 million restitution and $3.9 million for embezzling from McLarand Vasquez Emsiek & Partners Inc. between 2003 and 2009. He was convicted of two felony counts of grand theft, nine counts of forgery, 37 counts of falsifying records with sentencing enhancements for stealing more than $1.3 million.
NEWS
By Lauren Williams | October 25, 2012
Police arrested a Costa Mesa woman suspected of embezzling money from a high school band booster club, police said. Jennifer Border-Piatti, 50, was arrested Thursday after police served a search warrant at her home and found evidence linking her to the theft of more than $40,000 from the Costa Mesa High School Band Boosters Club, according to the Costa Mesa Police Department. Police believe Border-Piatti stole from the club for years. Police said Border-Piatti, the booster club's treasurer, made credit card purchases and ATM withdrawals from the account that were not related to booster club business.
LOCAL
February 2, 2007
The Orangewood Children's Foundation's former chief financial officer, who was fired in 2005 amid suspicions of embezzlement, was arrested Thursday on more than 200 charges. Tracy Salcido, 37, of Yorba Linda, is charged with 206 counts of forgery and 20 counts of falsifying records, actions that allegedly helped her obtain more than $780,000 of foundation money. Prosecutors said Salcido forged checks, manipulated accounts and falsified reports of the foundation's expenses and earnings.
NEWS
October 24, 2002
Deirdre Newman As a result of the embezzlement 10 years ago of about $4 million, the school district implemented a series of checks and controls to prevent a greedy, powerful employee from having free rein with the district's finances. The embezzlement, discovered in October 1992, shattered the Newport-Mesa Unified School District's credibility and sent the budget director, Stephen Wagner, to jail, where he would eventually die. Wagner had used the stolen funds to support his lavish lifestyle, which included mink-lined tuxedos, expensive cars and jewels.
NEWS
October 23, 2002
Deirdre Newman It was 10 years ago that signs of a million-dollar embezzlement first appeared in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, eventually sending shockwaves through the administration and eroding the public's trust when it turned out the man entrusted with the financial stewardship of the district was responsible. Stephen Wagner, who was the district's budget director, was suspended Oct. 23, 1992 pending an investigation that eventually turned up an embezzlement of close to $4 million.
LOCAL
By Lauren Vane | March 29, 2006
A spokeswoman for the Orange County Performing Arts Center said Tuesday that the center has employed a check and balance system after a former employee embezzled more than $1 million. Ana Limbaring, who worked in the center's finance department since 1995, was sentenced to 10 years in prison after she pleaded guilty to charges of grand theft and computer fraud Monday in Orange County Superior Court, officials said. In 2000, Limbaring, 53, began stealing cash from the center.
LOCAL
By Lauren Vane | April 22, 2006
A man who allegedly pointed a high-powered laser at a police helicopter was arrested Thursday at his home in the Villa Point condominiums in Newport Beach, police said Friday. Peter Kontos, the president of the Villa Point Condominium Assn., is also under investigation in the embezzlement of more than $500,000 from the condo association, Newport Police Sgt. Bill Hartford said. Kontos has not been charged in the embezzlement. While serving a search warrant at Kontos' condo early Thursday, police recovered a pointer laser and found more than $100,000 in cash and several grams of cocaine, Hartford said.
NEWS
December 13, 2010
I usually think about Stephen Wagner — Newport-Mesa's most accomplished embezzler of public money — only when I happen to pass by his former upscale home in Newport Beach's Dover Shores neighborhood. My stream of consciousness goes something like this: mink-lined tuxedo, Rolls Royce, the island of Nevis. What a sad, tortured and short life. Last week, a house wasn't needed to trigger thoughts of Wagner. He immediately came to mind when the news broke that Jeffrey Hubbard, superintendent of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, had been charged with two felony counts of misappropriating public funds.
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NEWS
By Jeremiah Dobruck | September 19, 2013
Band members and boosters from Costa Mesa High School lined up in court Thursday to scold a volunteer for the "utter monstrosity" of her crime: stealing tens of thousands of dollars from their booster club's coffers. Jennifer Borders-Piatti, the former band booster club president, pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $50,000 from the group during 2011 and 2012. She faced a maximum of three years in prison for a felony charge of grand theft, but as part of a plea agreement, an Orange County Superior Court judge sentenced her to a year in jail and three years of probation and ordered her to pay restitution - $51,974.32, what she stole plus interest.
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NEWS
June 15, 2013
An Irvine attorney was sentenced to one year in jail and restitution for embezzling more than $150,000 and defrauding his clients, authorities said. Tuan Thanh Tran, 44, pleaded guilty Friday to 10 felony counts of embezzlement by a fiduciary of trust, according to the Orange County district attorney's office. Prosecutors said that between May 2011 and February 2012, Tran represented five clients seeking compensation for damages they suffered in traffic accidents through civil lawsuits.
NEWS
February 8, 2013
A bookkeeper, who embezzled $1.7 million from work, was sentenced Thursday to 13 years and four months in state prison, prosecutors said. Rebecca Rhea Moore, 39, of Dyersburg, Tenn., pleaded guilty to multiple felonies, including grand theft by embezzlement, computer access fraud and falsifying records, and forgery, according to the Orange County district attorney's office. Moore forged the company owner's name on checks. In addition to prison time, Moore will have to pay $1.7 million in restitution and $117,578 in state taxes to the California Franchise Tax Board, prosecutors said.
NEWS
By Lauren Williams | December 10, 2012
A Huntington Beach man accused of embezzling more than $3 million from customers at a luxury car business pleaded not guilty to 41 felonies Monday, authorities said. Prosecutors allege Farhad Ebadat, 37, promised clients of his Costa Mesa business that he would sell their Rolls Royces, Ferraris, Lamborghinis and other luxury cars on consignment, but instead diverted payments to a personal account. Between 2009 and 2012, Ebadat owned and operated Costa Mesa Bellagio Motors on Placentia Avenue and sold cars worth $25,000 to $225,000 on consignment, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.
NEWS
By Britney Barnes | November 5, 2012
The Costa Mesa High School Band Boosters Club is moving forward with new officers, increased parental involvement and the community's renewed support after the arrest of a parent who allegedly stole $40,000 for the program. Newly elected Boosters Club president Mariel LeValley said she has a new list of checks and balances she's going to ensure are followed. "We need to have a good plan in place," she said. "We need to have parents in place. We need more parents. This is a big lesson to learn.
NEWS
By Britney Barnes | November 2, 2012
Costa Mesa High School's marching band and its supporters are reeling from allegations that more than $40,000 was stolen from the Band Boosters Club. Mesa's marching band and color guard were stunned to learn that club treasurer Jennifer Border-Piatti, 50, was arrested Oct. 25 on suspicion of embezzling from the club, said band member Jennifer Bernal, 17, who is also a color guard co-captain. "Right now, I guess we're all a little shocked," she said. "We all saw her as a really supportive figure.
NEWS
September 8, 2012
A former Irvine attorney is accused of embezzling more than $150,000 worth of insurance claims and defrauding his clients, according to prosecutors. Tuan Thanh Tran, 43, pleaded not guilty Friday to 11 felony counts of acts constituting forgery and five felony counts of embezzlement by fiduciary of trust, according to Orange County Superior Court records. Prosecutors allege that Tran represented five different clients who sought damages for traffic accidents between May 2011 and February 2012.
NEWS
By Lauren Williams | September 4, 2012
A Newport Beach attorney faces charges of embezzling more than $700,000 from two sisters after offering to help them with their finances, prosecutors said Tuesday. Peter David Nitschke, 45, was a family friend of the alleged victims and president of the women's church congregation. He offered to help them following the death of their 95-year-old mother in 2010, according to the Orange County district attorney's office. The mother left her daughters, ages 65 and 69, a house in Northern California and about $675,000 in various bank accounts, prosecutors said.
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