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Former Orange County School District Official Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Nearly $16 Million

Former Orange County School District Official Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Nearly $16 Million

Magnolia School District on West Orange Avenue in Anaheim in May 2022. (Google Maps/Screenshot via California Insider)

Micaela Ricaforte
Micaela Ricaforte

4/1/2024

Updated: 4/1/2024

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A former financial director for a California school district pleaded guilty to embezzling $15.9 million from the district over several years.
Jorge Armando Contreras, 53, on March 28 pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement, theft and intentional misapplication of funds from an organization receiving federal funds, according to a statement from the U.S. District Attorney’s Office.
The count is a felony offense that has a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.
Mr. Contreras was the senior director of fiscal services at Magnolia School District in Orange County for 18 years. The district is in western Anaheim and includes parts of Stanton.
According to authorities, 81 percent of children attending the K-6th grade district are classified as low-income or socio-economically disadvantaged.
During his time there, Mr. Contreras managed several of the district’s bank accounts.
According to authorities, Mr. Contreras deposited checks from the district’s accounts into his personal bank accounts by writing checks in small dollar amounts to “M S D,” with the letters spaced out.
After the checks received the proper signatures from others, Mr. Contreras would add false names to the checks, increase the dollar amount, and deposit the checks into his personal bank accounts.
Mr. Contreras would also provide falsified bank statements and records to the school district to cover up his fraud.
He admitted to embezzling approximately $15,920,042, according to authorities.
The district placed Mr. Contreras on administrative leave in August 2023 and filed a lawsuit against him in Orange County Superior Court.
Law enforcement so far has seized about $7.7 million in personal and real property traced to the scheme, including a home in Yorba Linda, a 2021 BMW automobile, 57 luxury designer bags, various pieces of designer clothes, jewelry and shoes and eight bottles of Clase Azul Ultra luxury tequila, according to authorities.
Mr. Contreras is currently free on a $450,000 bond. His sentencing hearing is set for July 25.
Former Orange County Education Official Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Nearly $16 Million from School District
A former financial director for a California school district pleaded guilty to embezzling $15.9 million from the district over several years.
Jorge Armando Contreras, 53, on March 28 pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement, theft and intentional misapplication of funds from an organization receiving federal funds, according to a statement from the U.S. District Attorney’s Office.
The count is a felony offense that has a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.
Mr. Contreras was the senior director of fiscal services at Magnolia School District in Orange County for 18 years. The district is in western Anaheim and includes parts of Stanton.
According to authorities, 81 percent of children attending the K-6th grade district are classified as low-income or socio-economically disadvantaged.
During his time there, Mr. Contreras managed several of the district’s bank accounts.
According to authorities, Mr. Contreras deposited checks from the district’s accounts into his personal bank accounts by writing checks in small dollar amounts to “M S D,” with the letters spaced out.
After the checks received the proper signatures from others, Mr. Contreras would add false names to the checks, increase the dollar amount, and deposit the checks into his personal bank accounts.
Mr. Contreras would also provide falsified bank statements and records to the school district to cover up his fraud.
He admitted to embezzling approximately $15,920,042, according to authorities.
The district placed Mr. Contreras on administrative leave in August 2023 and filed a lawsuit against him in Orange County Superior Court.
Law enforcement so far has seized about $7.7 million in personal and real property traced to the scheme, including a home in Yorba Linda, a 2021 BMW automobile, 57 luxury designer bags, various pieces of designer clothes, jewelry and shoes and eight bottles of Clase Azul Ultra luxury tequila, according to authorities.
Mr. Contreras is currently free on a $450,000 bond. His sentencing hearing is set for July 25.
Former Orange County Education Official Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Nearly $16 Million from School District
A former financial director for a California school district pleaded guilty to embezzling $15.9 million from the district over several years.
Jorge Armando Contreras, 53, on March 28 pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement, theft and intentional misapplication of funds from an organization receiving federal funds, according to a statement from the U.S. District Attorney’s Office.
The count is a felony offense that has a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.
Mr. Contreras was the senior director of fiscal services at Magnolia School District in Orange County for 18 years. The district is in western Anaheim and includes parts of Stanton.
According to authorities, 81 percent of children attending the K-6th grade district are classified as low-income or socio-economically disadvantaged.
During his time there, Mr. Contreras managed several of the district’s bank accounts.
According to authorities, Mr. Contreras deposited checks from the district’s accounts into his personal bank accounts by writing checks in small dollar amounts to “M S D,” with the letters spaced out.
After the checks received the proper signatures from others, Mr. Contreras would add false names to the checks, increase the dollar amount, and deposit the checks into his personal bank accounts.
Mr. Contreras would also provide falsified bank statements and records to the school district to cover up his fraud.
He admitted to embezzling approximately $15,920,042, according to authorities.
The district placed Mr. Contreras on administrative leave in August 2023 and filed a lawsuit against him in Orange County Superior Court.
Law enforcement so far has seized about $7.7 million in personal and real property traced to the scheme, including a home in Yorba Linda, a 2021 BMW automobile, 57 luxury designer bags, various pieces of designer clothes, jewelry and shoes and eight bottles of Clase Azul Ultra luxury tequila, according to authorities.
Mr. Contreras is currently free on a $450,000 bond. His sentencing hearing is set for July 25.
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Micaela Ricaforte covers education in Southern California for The Epoch Times. In addition to writing, she is passionate about music, books, and coffee.

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