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Pomona-area water board member sentenced for misusing public funds

October 1, 2009 |  2:09 pm

A Pomona-area water board member convicted of misappropriating public funds was sentenced today to five years in state prison.

Pomona Superior Court Judge Mike Camacho sentenced Three Valleys Municipal Water District board member Xavier Alvarez, 51, to state prison and ordered him to pay $4,150.79 in restitution to the water district.

Alvarez, who in 2006 was elected to the board by south Pomona voters, unlawfully secured medical benefits for his ex-wife, Juanita Ruiz. The Three Valleys district provides medical insurance to its directors, their spouses, children and other dependents.

Alvarez failed to disclose that he had been divorced for five years when he applied for and received health insurance benefits for Ruiz, prosecutors said. Alvarez already was on federal probation for falsely claiming to be a Medal of Honor recipient.

L.A. County Deputy Dist. Atty. Sandi Roth noted jurors deliberated for less than an hour Sept. 18 before convicting Alvarez of misappropriation of public funds, insurance fraud and grand theft.

His conviction for misappropriation of public funds prohibits him from holding elected office again. A pending case against Alvarez involving one count of perjury was dismissed at sentencing.

-- Richard Winton

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