Donald Atkinson, a retired El Dorado County sheriff's sergeant and the former president of the county Deputy Sheriffs' Association, has pleaded no contest to three felony counts of fraud, embezzlement and perjury in a plea agreement.
A no-contest plea is tantamount to a guilty plea for sentencing purposes.
Prosecutors said Atkinson stole money from the Deputy Sheriffs' Association, filed perjured campaign finance reports and stole $100,000 from an elderly woman by securing a loan from her under false pretenses.
"There's not a whole lot to it. We're happy that it's done and there's a resolution and some accountability for his actions. We're just kind of extremely hurt and betrayed," said Deputy Todd Crawford, the current president of the Deputy Sheriffs' Association.
Atkinson also pleaded no contest to two white-collar crime enhancements, which raise the severity of his crimes for sentencing purposes.
Atkinson will be sentenced to five years in state prison as part of a plea arrangement, said Lynda Gledhill, a spokeswoman for the California attorney general's office. He will pay $338,348.14 in restitution to the Deputy Sheriffs' Association and he will repay the $100,000 he is accused of stealing from the elderly woman, Gledhill said.
In addition, she said, he must direct the California Public Employees' Retirement System to pay $1,000 per month from his pension account to the victims while he is in prison and on parole.
Prosecutors originally charged Atkinson with 44 felony counts. The other 41 will be dropped as part of the agreement, Gledhill said.
Atkinson was arrested in March after an investigation by the attorney general's office and the El Dorado County District Attorney's Office. He will receive his sentence July 30, Gledhill said.
Lt. Tim Becker, a spokesman for the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department, declined to comment on the case, explaining that the department does not comment on investigations conducted by the District Attorney's Office.
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