Symphony Director Charged with Embezzlement

Dallas residents are justifiably proud of our city’s symphony orchestra and its national and international reputation for fine music. Fans of classical music might well be interested in news of the arrest of the executive director of another city’s symphony orchestra on embezzlement charges.

The 45-year-old was head of the Peninsula Symphony, based in Los Altos, California. He’s accused of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from the organization.

According to the symphony’s website, the 65-year-old ensemble has more than 90 community musicians and more than 10,000 patrons.

However, according to law enforcement officials, the group is missing almost all of an endowment fund that once contained $227,000. All that was left in the fund was $375, according to a prosecutor’s office.

Another account was similarly drained, dropping from $195,000 to $395.

The symphony’s board of directors was notified by a bank more than six months ago of “unusually low” amounts in the accounts.

The executive director apparently resigned soon after the directors were notified of the low funds.

The board then notified law enforcement officials and the state’s Franchise Tax Board. They launched an investigation that allegedly shows that the symphony head wrote checks to himself to cover personal debts.

He’s also accused of forging board member signatures on checks and securing an unauthorized loan for the organization.

He faces charges including embezzlement, grand theft, forgery, ID theft and state tax evasion.

As is often the case in these matters, authorities spend significant time in investigations, making it imperative for anyone who believes that they might be suspected of white collar crimes to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

Source: Los Altos Town Crier, “Former Peninsula Symphony executive arrested on embezzlement, other charges,” Diego Abeloos, March 5, 2014

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