Sheriff’s detectives are investigating a case of embezzlement at a Yucca Valley church. Detectives were called to Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday after church employees discovered that an unknown suspect had used fraudulent checks at multiple Home Depot locations and at an office supply store. None of the stores where the checks were used were local. A total of seven checks were used, and the stolen funds totaled $14,000.
A Yucca Valley man was arrested early Monday morning following a traffic stop after he was found with various weapons. According to a Sheriff’s report, a deputy stopped a green Suzuki four-door sedan as it was traveling northbound on Old Woman Springs Road near Encelia Avenue for driving without headlights just before midnight. During a records check on the driver, identified as Cory Lotz, 41, the deputy determined that Lotz had a felony warrant for his arrest for embezzlement, and was also driving on a suspended license. During a search of Lotz and his car, the deputy found a flip-open knife with a pair of brass knuckles attached and a loaded short-barreled shotgun. Cory Lotz was arrested for investigation of being in possession of a short-barreled shotgun, brass knuckles, violating the terms of his parole, and on his warrant for embezzlement. Lotz was booked into the West Valley Detention Center with his bail set at $100,000.
Four former Beaumont City officials entered guilty pleas Tuesday for their role in a $43 million embezzlement scheme involving a handful of city officials, including the former city manager and police chief. The defendants, former City Manager Alan Kapanicas, former Economic Development Director David Dillon, former City Planner Ernest Egger, and former Finance Director William Aylward, appeared at the Riverside Hall of Justice, where they were ordered to pay a combined $8 million in restitution and placed on probation. None received jail sentences. The plea deals come two months after Beaumont’s former city Police Chief Francis Dennis Coe Jr. pled guilty to one misdemeanor count of conspiracy to commit theft. He was sentenced to three years of summary probation and 200 hours of community service. He agreed to pay $50,000 back to the city.
A 40-year-old Landers woman was arrested on multiple charges Friday morning after she was spotted shoplifting a sweater. According to a Sheriff’s report, Walmart employees called deputies about 9 a.m. after a woman, later identified as Jacqueline Worley, was seen putting on a sweater inside the store. The report states that Worley appeared to be drunk and was having a “lively” conversation with herself. When deputies arrived, they determined that the vehicle Worley was driving had been reported stolen that day by a friend in the 1800 block of Acoma Trail in Landers. The car’s owner told deputies he gave Worley his ATM card to purchase cigarettes, but she never returned, and his bank account is missing $300. During a search of the vehicle, deputies located shotgun shells inside the car. Jacqueline Worley was arrested for investigation of vehicle embezzlement, being a felon in possession of ammunition, and a parole violation. Worley was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with her bail set at $60,000.
An employee of Reach Out Morongo Basin was fired Friday after an investigation was opened for suspected embezzlement. Executive Director Robin Schlosser said that while reviewing the charity’s accounting records, several discrepancies were found. After further investigation, it was determined that several thousand dollars were missing. Schlosser added that the Morongo Basin Sheriff’s Department was notified and deputies are conducting their own investigation into the possibility of embezzlement.