AP audit leads to investigation of sheriff’s embezzlement

A former sheriff's deputy has been sentenced to five years in prison after an accounts payable audit revealed he has embezzled more than $300,000 during his employment.

Donald Atkinson was accused and found guilty of perjury, three felony counts of embezzlement and elder fraud. Over a six-year period, Atkinson stole money from the El Dorado County Sheriff's Association in California by opening bank accounts in his name and then writing checks from the organization to himself and companies he owned. For larger checks, Atkinson entered the payments in the association's records and claimed they were for charitable donations. However, none of the organizations ever received any money from Atkinson or the sheriff's department, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

According to The Sacramento Bee, Atkinson was charged with one count of elder fraud after it was discovered that he took a loan of $100,000 from an individual, telling the victim he would use the money to buy a photography business. However, the investigation found that he did not spend the loan on what was promised, and he also falsified information in the contract that he signed with the lender.

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