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Ex-Mt. San Antonio College official stole $750,000

December 14, 2011 |  9:29 am

The former head of Mt. San Antonio College's fire training program has pleaded no contest to 16 felony charges of stealing more than $750,000 from students and the school, prosecutors said.

Jerry Dewayne Austin, 57, of Norco faces up to five years in prison after entering a plea deal Tuesday.

Austin, who served as director of the fire technology program at the Walnut community college for eight years until he was fired in August, deliberately overcharged students for classes and equipment.

Austin began the scheme in 2005, using the forged signature of a part-time faculty member and then  made himself administrator of the account.

Austin also embezzled at least $150,000 from the school, said L.A. County Deputy Dist. Atty. James Belna.

He pleaded no contest to two felony counts of identity theft, two felony counts of forgery and 12 felony counts of grand theft, said district attorney spokesman Jane Robison.

Robison said a restitution hearing will determine how much money Austin will have to pay back to students and the college.

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--Richard Winton

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