Jorge Armando Contreras, a 52-year-old man from Yorba Linda, the former senior director of fiscal services at an Orange County public school district, was arrested in October 2023 for allegedly embezzling more than $14 million. This is a federal embezzlement charge, and if convicted, he will face up to 10 years in federal prison.
OC Public School District Official Embezzles Millions from District
According to the affidavit, Contreras was hired by the Magnolia School District in 2006 to manage their fiscal operations. The Magnolia School District is home to predominantly socio-economically disadvantaged students. As such, they receive federal funding to support their district.
From August 2016 to July 2023, Contreras allegedly stole millions of dollars from the school district, including from programs that received federal funding, and then used the funds to purportedly buy luxury items, cosmetic dermatology treatments, and finance a house. To facilitate the embezzlement, he allegedly wrote himself checks from the school district's funds, which he then deposited into his personal bank account. The check amounts ranged from about $11,000 to $95,000 and listed fake names as the payee.
The state alleges that Contreras stole over $4 million between August 2022 and July 2023. Apparently, he took out over $325,000 in cash from various ATMs, paid almost $2 million to American Express, and transferred $130,000 to his partner. He was placed on administrative leave in August 2023, and a lawsuit was filed against him soon after.
How an Experienced Attorney Can Help
To defend against the crime of federal embezzlement, Contrera's attorney would need to prove that he owned the money he was transferring or using to pay for things. An experienced criminal defense attorney understands how overwhelming charges like this can be and will work tirelessly to ensure you are completely prepared to defend yourself.