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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Former LA Official Charged With Embezzlement


Thatcus Carl Richard, a 64-year-old man from Moreno Valley and a retired LA Department of Water official, was arrested one week ago for allegedly committing white-collar crimes while a municipal employee.

This past Monday, Mr. Richard plead not guilty to nine counts each of conflict of interest, public officer crime, and embezzlement by a public officer in excess of $1 million dollars.

Prosecutors contend that Mr. Richard misappropriated more than $4 million dollars in public funds while working as an audiovisual technician for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Mr. Richard’s former duties, according to the prosecution, included the management of audio and video purchase orders and contracts for the Department of Water and Power between 1996 and 2014. 

The district attorney’s office alleges that Mr. Richard, among other things, improperly facilitated the bidding process for the contracts such that the bids went to contractors and subcontractors owned by his personal friends, ultimately allowing Mr. Richard to gain improper benefits himself.

Mr. Richard and his attorney have denied the allegations, pleading not guilty to all counts at his arraignment earlier this week. The judge set bail for the defendant at $775,000 dollars.

According to Mr. Richard’s attorney, Mr. Richard suffers from Stage 4 cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy, radiation, and physical therapy. Mr. Richard appeared for his arraignment in a wheelchair and has reportedly missed numerous treatments due to his pretrial incarceration.

Mr. Richard is due back in court on June 28 for a bail review hearing where Mr. Richard will have the opportunity to ask the judge to reconsider the terms of his bail.

White-collar crimes carry serious penalties, including potentially lengthy jail sentences. If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges, contact the Law Office of Ronald Brower to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can advise you of and protect your rights.

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