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Former charter school CEO guilty of misappropriating funds

A 57-year-old woman plead guilty to misappropriating and embezzling $2.5 million in public education funds. The woman was the founder of the Celebrity Educational Group, which was a network of charter schools in Los Angeles, California. She worked as its CEO until April 2015. Most of the money was used to buy a sound stage in Ohio among other purchases. A portion of the funds were provided by the Department of Education.

The woman also used several credit cards issued to Celebrity Educational Group to buy items for herself. Those items included airfare to see Barack Obama's inauguration and customized bicycles. According to the plea agreement reached in the case, she did not reimburse any of the money spent using the group's credit cards. The defendant is expected to be sentenced in May, and she could spend up to five years in prison.

Former musical director of the Arsenio Hall Show facing charges

According to news sources, a former musical director with the Arsenio Hall Show was charged in federal court in California with embezzling more than $750,000 from an organization that was meant to benefit children. The alleged embezzlement reportedly occurred in 2016.

The man was the musical director of the band that performed on the Arsenio Hall Show. He was supposed to use the money to hire celebrity performers for a charity concert to benefit a nonprofit organization that raises funds and awareness to help children around the world who are displaced by war.

California church officials say nuns embezzled $500,000

On December 10, officials from a California church announced that two nuns had embezzled $500,000. Reportedly, the two used a bank account that the school where they worked had opened in 1997 but no longer used. One of the nuns, who was the school principal, had the bookkeeper process the checks. However, she then deposited them in the account and endorsed them as a convent instead of with the name of the school. The other nun was a teacher at the school.

The nuns spent the money gambling in Las Vegas. The embezzlement allegedly went on for about a decade. When the principal retired, the school did a routine audit and discovered it. According to the monsignor, one reason the embezzling was not discovered sooner was because the school had never been in the red.

What to know about hate crimes in California

Hate crimes are serious, especially because they could be committed by individuals or groups aligned with terrorists. Perpetrators also have the potential to commit acts of terror on their own. A hate crime is one in which the perpetrator singles out the victim based on one or more specific attributes.

For example, a victim may be targeted because of that person's gender or sexual orientation. Victims could also be targeted because they have a certain skin color or came from a certain part of the world. The crimes themselves range from murder to arson or vandalism. The FBI attempts to deter people from committing hate crimes by partnering with community groups and by educating the public about these types of acts. The agency also works with local and state law enforcement agencies to investigate hate crimes.

Freedom of speech does not mean you can threaten officials

With the intense political climate the country faces these days, it is easy to see why many people have strong emotions and reactions. It is imperative that everyone who is feeling strongly about what's going on understands that there are some things that shouldn't be said.

One thing that is illegal is threatening the President of the United States, Vice President and many other government officials. It is possible to face federal criminal charges if you are accused of doing so.

Feds want 3 men accused in phone scam to forfeit over $2 million

Telemarketers have made many Californians wary of answering their telephones. Considering the telephone scam that was recently shut down by federal prosecutors, it's easy to understand that sentiment. An indictment against three men alleges that they ran a call center overseas for the purpose of posing as the Internal Revenue Service or a payday loan company. The U.S. attorney handling the case said that the men collected $2.3 million while committing their alleged crimes and that they should forfeit property of equal value.

Investigators claim that the men masked the overseas origin of their calls with domestic telephone numbers. The callers told victims that they were either collecting back taxes or offering payday loans for a "worthiness fee." These activities allegedly went on from August 2014 to June 2016.

Evidence suggests woman stole from school and athletic groups

When nonprofit organizations in California select treasurers, they entrust large amounts of money to those officers. A woman from Carmichael allegedly betrayed the trust placed in her by the Deterding Elementary School's Parent Teacher Organization, Carmichael Little League and an Orangevale baseball team. Authorities continue to hold her in Sacramento County Jail after her arrest following accusations of embezzlement. The court set her bail at $125,000.

The court system has pressed multiple charges against her after alleging that she embezzled over $138,000 from multiple organizations since 2015. Her charges include embezzlement, forgery, grand theft and illegally using personal identification.

Important facts about federal plea deals

Plea bargains play an important role in the criminal justice system. While state courts and other agencies might give everyone leeway in working out these deals, the federal court system is under strict guidelines.

When you are facing criminal charges in the federal system, you have to think carefully about your options. This is a bit different from facing state or local charges because federal prosecutors have vast resources.

Identity theft is a growing problem in California

Identity theft is a growing problem for authorities in California and around the country, and protecting the community is especially difficult because technology designed to make life easier is providing criminals with new ways to obtain confidential consumer information. Identity thieves use people's personal or financial data, such as their Social Security number or login details, without their knowledge or consent to commit crimes like fraud or theft. One of the chief problems faced by police officers and federal agents investigating identity theft is that victims often do not find out that their information has been used without their consent until they receive credit card bills with unusual charges.

Identity theft became a federal crime in 1998 when President Clinton signed the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act into law. Congress revisited the issue in 2004 and increased the penalties for aggravated identity theft by passing the Theft Penalty Enhancement Act. The penalties for terrorism related offenses are particularly severe. Federal agencies that investigate identity theft and enforce these laws include the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Federal Trade Commission.

California Humane Society executive pleads guilty to embezzlement

A 50-year-old California woman has admitted to embezzling almost $60,000 from the Lake Tahoe Humane Society. She served as the nonprofit organization's executive director between 2014 and 2017 according to reports. Her guilty plea, which was part of a negotiated agreement, was announced by the El Dorado County District Attorney's Office on Sept. 24. Under the terms of the agreement, the woman will serve six months in county jail followed by four years of formal probation. She has also promised to repay the $59,664 she allegedly embezzled and refrain from gambling.

Media accounts reveal that the woman was taken into custody by South Lake Tahoe Police Department detectives in July following an 18-month investigation. The investigation was initiated by concerns raised by the Humane Society after evidence of embezzlement was discovered following the woman's termination. The detectives investigating the claims say that their job was made more difficult by the nonprofit organization's sloppy bookkeeping practices.

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