2 ex-state Justice Deparment officials face embezzlement charges
Two former supervisors from the California Department of Justice were charged Thursday with embezzlement and other counts for allegedly diverting about $12,500 in government funds, California Attorney General Rob Bonta and Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced Thursday.
Between January 2014 and November 2017 Eric Bunde oversaw the Los Angeles Regional Criminal Information Clearinghouse, known as LA Clear, which assists law enforcement agencies with criminal investigations. He is charged with one felony count each of grand theft by embezzlement, grand theft by an employee and conflict of interest.
Co-defendant James Biscailuz is charged with one felony count each of grand theft by embezzlement, grand theft by an employee and perjury.
At Bunde’s direction, LA Clear contracted with Biscailuz’s company for social media services that were eventually subcontracted to a consulting firm owned by Bunde, resulting in a loss of about $12,500, according to a statement released by the District Attorney’s Office.
Biscailuz is accused of filing a disclosure form that omitted his ownership of the company, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
“The California Department of Justice’s work is built on the highest standards of ethics and integrity, and the alleged actions of these two defendants violates these standards,” Bonta said in the statement. “Breaking the law to line your own pockets, especially while in a position of power, is unacceptable. Trust is a fundamental part of law enforcement and we will not stand by when this trust is broken.”
The attorney general said he was “grateful to my team at DOJ and the incredible agents within LA Clear for their hard work in thoroughly investigating this case, and to Los Angeles County District Attorney Gascón for working in partnership to hold these defendants accountable.”
An arraignment date has not yet been set for Bunde, 55, and Biscailuz, 54.