Two Plead Guilty to Diverting Retirement Funds

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Santa Clara County prosecutors say two former officials of a longtime Latino community organization in San Jose have pleaded guilty to diverting thousands of dollars in workers' retirement funds.

As part of a settlement, former Mexican American Community Services Agency CEO Olivia Soza Mendiola and ex-chief financial officer Benjamin Tan pleaded guilty Friday to grand theft charges and will pay back more than $170,000 they illegally diverted from the organization's retirement funds.

Between 2004 and 2009, Mendiola and Tan redirected money that was supposed to be placed into the organization's employee retirement account to pay for other expenses, including iPods, Jazzercise classes and meals at Chuck E. Cheese.

Under terms of the settlement, if the 56-year-old Mendiola and the 62-year-old Tan pay back the money within three months, they will receive community service instead of a jail sentence.

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