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Former Lynwood school official charged with embezzlement

February 16, 2012 |  4:43 pm

The Lynwood Unified School District's former chief business officer was charged Thursday with embezzling more than $700,000 in public funds and filing false tax returns.

William Douglas Agopian, 60, of Santa Ana allegedly used the money from a district bank account to pay for tickets to professional baseball games, gas and his personal taxes over a four-year period, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

“The allegations do involve a significant violation of public trust involving funds that are intended for the students of the Lynwood Unified School District,” said prosecutor Dana Aratani.

The bank account initially was created for funds related to a student trip to Mexico, court documents show. The off-the-books account was discovered after a newly hired director of fiscal services for the district sought to review district bank accounts for cost-saving purposes in August 2010.

A bank official presented documents related to the account, which was not listed on district account records, according to the court records. Agopian was the sole signer on the account and allegedly used it to funnel money from the district for his personal use.

Agopian resigned from the district after the account was discovered, Aratani said.

Defense attorney Ira Salzman declined to comment on the charges. Lynwood school officials did not return a telephone call seeking comment.

Agopian is charged with 21 felony accounts of misappropriation of public funds, embezzlement and filing a false tax return. If convicted, he faces up to 19 years and four months in prison.

Arraignment is scheduled Friday. He is being held in lieu of $700,000 bail.

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-- Stephen Ceasar

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