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Councilman Mario Beltran pleads guilty to embezzlement

January 2, 2009 | 12:15 pm

Mariobeltran_2_2 A Bell Gardens Councilman accused of embezzling campaign funds pleaded guilty today to multiple counts, prosecutors announced.

Mario Beltran, 31, pleaded to four misdemeanor counts, including failing to file campaign disclosure forms and failing to deposit cash contributions, all violations of the Political Reform Act., Deputy Dist. Atty. Max Hunstman said in a press release.

The charges stem from the defendant’s failure to report to authorities how he was spending campaign funds entrusted to him and his failure to deposit and account for cash given to him, according to the press release.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge George G. Lomeli ordered Beltran back for sentencing on Feb. 12. The defendant must resign from office before sentencing. Beltran is expected to receive four years of probation during which time he may not hold elected or appointed office and may not seek elected office or lobby.

Seven counts of grand theft, one count of perjury and one count of failing to deposit cash will be dismissed at sentencing as part of a negotiated plea agreement. In a previous prosecution in 2007, the defendant was convicted by a Downey jury of a misdemeanor charge of filing a false police report.

-- Hector Becerra