Long Beach embezzler gets three years

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A woman who stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from Long Beach’s animal welfare agency was sentenced today to three years in prison for embezzling.

Jongluck Mutrais, 59, of Orange, was ordered to pay $600,000 to Long Beach’s Animal Care Services Bureau and about $48,000 to the state’s Franchise Tax Board, though it was unclear if she had the ability to pay.

Mutrais, who worked for the city for more than a decade, pleaded guilty Aug. 24 to embezzling public funds and filing a false 2008 state tax return. The charges stem from crimes committed between Oct. 1, 2009 and Sept. 1, 2010.

Two former co-workers told Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Robert M. Kawahara, who handled the sentencing, that they were dismayed by the crimes. One called it a “horrible nightmare” that affected animal care employees.

When Animal Care Services Bureau began using a new system to track funds in August 2010, the missing money was noticed and Mutrais quit the same month.

She was arrested May 10 and has remained locked up.

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