A jury convicted a former Pasadena city employee and a contractor of embezzlement earlier this month. Former Pasadena Public Works Department analyst Danny Wooten and Tyrone Collins, a contractor now await sentencing.
Jurors agreed with prosecutors on 53 felony charges against Wooten and acquitted him of 6 additional felony counts. In addition, they accepted a special allegation against Wooten of theft of more than $500,000. He now faces as much as 24 years in state prison.
Collins fared little better. The jury convicted the former city contractor of 10 felony counts against him and the special allegation of excessive taking. Collins could face as much as 15 years in state prison at the time of his sentencing. Restitution is also likely to be a component of the sentence. The city has already received a $5 million insurance payout on the loss. CIty attorneys claim that the city’s loss exceeded that.
The judge denied the men’s requests to remain free on an electronic tether before sentencing. They are due to be sentenced January 11. According to prosecutors, Wooten worked for the city for 12 years before being fired. In that time, prosecutors say he embezzled $6 million from the city’s underground utilities fund. They also allege that he moved some of the stolen funds to Collins, who worked on city contracts.
The city ordered an audit of the fund in 2014, and discovered that millions of dollars had disappeared. Wooten’s attorney argued that the city must have known that the money was being misdirected. Jurors did not find that defense persuasive.
Pasadena embezzlement attorney
When you face embezzlement charges, hire an experienced embezzlement attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr .Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.
Embezzlement cases often grab headlines because of their large dollar amounts. Often the public is sympathetic to the victim, as well. Despite these challenges, it is possible to provide a successful defense. Mr. Helfend’s first priority will be to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. When that’s not possible, he will work toward the best possible outcome for your case. The importance of reducing and avoiding felony charges is clear. In this case, one defendant faces sentencing on 53 charges, while the other faces sentencing on 10. The first defendant faces 24 years, while the second faces nearly a decade less for similar (but fewer) charges.
Insist on working with an experienced attorney when your freedom is at stake. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County embezzlement case.
Photo Credit: University Libraries, via Flickr.com