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City worker arrested for embezzlement

California residents may be interested to know that on March 29, 2017, the former Compton deputy city treasurer was taken into custody by the FBI for embezzling. The 47-year-old man is facing federal charges for allegedly stealing $3,721,924 from May 2010 through December 2016 from programs supported by federal funds.

The worked in the city's treasurer's Office for over 20 years and was tasked with recording the cash that the city received each day for business licenses, parking tickets and other fees. After tallying the cash, he was responsible for preparing it to be deposited in the city's bank account.

The man took cash on several occasions, according to the criminal complaint that was filed in district court. An audit of the city's cash deposits showed that there were daily discrepancies that ranged from $200 to $8,000.

According an affidavit that details an interview the FBI conducted with the man's supervisor, the defendant began driving luxury vehicles. It also states that the former employee, who had an annual salary of almost $60,000, stated that he had purchased a residence and had it demolished so that it could be rebuilt. The man was arrested last year by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on charges related to the theft of city funds. The arrest on federal charges was a result of an additional investigation by the FBI.

Individuals convicted of misappropriating funds can face lengthy imprisonment. As embezzlement is a specific intent crime, a criminal defense attorney could assert that the defendant did not intend to permanently deprive the owner of its property.

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