A former city employee at Long Beach allegedly embezzled over $250,000 from the Animal Care Services Bureau. According to a spokeswoman for the county district attorney in Los Angeles, the accused, Jongluck Mutrais was arrested on nine counts, all of which were felony charges that included misappropriation of public funds. The other 8 charges were for – filing incorrect income tax returns, embezzling when serving as public officer and altering an account.
Embezzling Began Late 2009
Prosecutors stated that between October 1, 2009 and September 1, 2010, Mutrais mishandled cash transactions and embezzled money from the Long Beach Services Bureau for Animal Care. In August 2010, Mutrais stepped down from her position at the bureau, which handles animal control, adoption, dog licenses and kennels. According to prosecutors, the bureau found out about the theft only when they installed a system in computers to track the movement of funds.
The information management system that found out the discrepancies that led to Mutrais being arrested, has been designed to perform a number of functions, including keeping track of all transactions that take place on field or in-house. Mutrais will have to face jail time of 9 years in case she is convicted.
Bail Set at $500,000 After Mutrais Pleads Not Guilty
After Mutrais pled not guilty to the charges, her bail was set at $500,000. The director of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine, George Chapjian, stated that it was unfortunate that no balances and checks were used during the period when the crime took place.
Investigators mentioned that besides the sum of money Mutrais stole in that time, she misappropriated several thousands in the ten years she worked with the bureau. During the months Mutrais embezzled the huge amount of money, the bureau was being managed by the Department of Health and Human Services. It was only after 2010 that the Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine took over.