On Aug. 31, it was reported that a 57-year-old former superintendent for a California high school was scheduled to be arraigned on multiple felony charges. The man was accused of manipulating the school board to increase the amount he received in pay and benefits.
The Los Angeles District Attorney's office said that, in 2013, the former superintendent's retirement plan totaled $500,000 more than the district's next highest-paid worker. Even so, the violations were reportedly not recovered until the office received a copy of an article in February 2014 that reported the excessive salary that the former superintended was receiving. It was alleged that the man was able to get away with the alleged violations by overwhelming the board with potential revisions of more than 3,000 board bylaws and regulations.
The man was taken into custody on Aug. 30 at about 9 a.m. He was facing numerous charges for embezzlement, misappropriation of public funds, multiple counts of conflict of interest and multiple counts of grand theft, in addition to others. If he is convicted on all counts, he could potentially face up to 15 years in a state prison.
People charged with embezzlement or misappropriation of funds could potentially face severe penalties depending on the circumstances. In some cases, those who were charged with embezzlement may also be charged with additional offenses, which could cause the punishments to be even more severe. For example, a lengthy prison sentence and the requirement to pay restitution could be possible. A criminal defense attorney could challenge the charges on the basis of insufficient evidence or on the way that the investigation was conducted.
Source: Redondo Beach Patch, "Former Superintendent Arrested For Allegedly Embezzling Public Funds", Emily Holland, Aug. 31, 2017