West Valley College Faculty Member Pleads in $200K Embezzlement
A retired West Valley College faculty member pleaded no contest to charges she embezzled more than $200,000 from the school, authorities said.
Diane Tsutsumi, the former chairwoman of the physical education division, entered her plea in Santa Clara County Superior Court this week to nine felony counts in connection with the embezzlement, including misappropriation of public funds and filing a false tax return.
Tsutsumi, 59, was accused of renting the college’s tennis courts to private tennis instructors between 1997 and 2004 and pocketing the money, and buying personal items such as a high-end stereo and a kitchen sink.
In addition, she never reported the income on her state tax returns and submitted more than $50,000 in fraudulent expense claims to the college, prosecutors said. Tsutsumi initially claimed she used the money to make purchases for the school.
Sentencing is set for Feb. 24. Under a deal with prosecutors, Tsutsumi will be sentenced to three years in state prison if she pays restitution by then, said Deputy District Attorney Dale Lohman.
She faced more than 10 years in prison if convicted on all counts.
— Associated Press
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