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California sanitation official accused of white collar crimes

The former general manager for the Ross Valley Sanitary District is facing nine felony counts for a number of different crimes, including embezzlement, money laundering and misappropriation of public money. If he is found guilty of these white collar crimes, he could end up serving a maximum 10-year prison sentence as well as paying fines of up to $1.5 million. Eleven search warrants were served to gather and inspect emails and bank records that could be used by the prosecution.

One of the main charges against the man alleges that he took a housing loan worth $350,000 from the district but used the funds for other purposes. The affidavit that led to the man's arrest stated that much of the money went to vacations, living expenses and a new truck. Bank records allegedly show that the man withdrew cash at ATMs located in Barcelona, Venice and Paris. According to an audit from the California Public Employee's Retirement System, the man also allegedly received salary payments of over $15,000 improperly between July and October of 2010.

The man's attorney has remarked that the former sanitation director has undergone "scurrilous attacks" from the local press. He also indicated that bank records possibly being used as evidence should be sealed in order to prevent the man's personal information from becoming public. The judge presiding over the case has stated that he will consider sealing or redacting any information that is determined to be unrelated.

The attorney also requested that the judge be rescued from the case due to a prior grand jury that he presided over. While this request was denied, it does serve as an example of how defense attorneys can make use of multiple legal strategies. Qualified defense attorneys can attempt to help defendants using a myriad of different tactics.

Source: Marin Independent Journal, "Marin DA presents evidence in corruption case against former sewer boss" Richard Halstead, Feb. 03, 2014

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