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Ex-L.A. County sheriff's deputy pleads no contest to embezzling nearly $500,000 in tow fees [Updated]

April 8, 2011 | 11:06 am

A retired L.A. County sheriff's deputy has pleaded no contest to embezzling nearly a half million dollars in tow fees at the sheriff's Industry station.

The former deputy, Joseph Dyer, 56, and his wife were forced to repay the department $554,588, the amount of the loss, plus an additional $100,000 to help reimburse for the cost of the investigation.

Dyer, indicted in 2009, pleaded no contest Thursday to one felony count of public officer crime, and his wife, Lydia Dyer, 47, did the same to a count of filing a false tax return.

Dyer supervised the car impound program at the station where he worked, collecting towing fees that were supposed to go to the city of La Puente. Instead, they were pocketed by Dyer between 2001 and 2007, prosecutors said.

[Updated at 3:18 p.m.: A previous version of this post and a previous headline said incorrectly that the deputy pleaded no contest to embezzling more than $500,000 in tow fees, but it was actually nearly $500,000 in tow fees]

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