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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.