Santa Barbara – Flying in the face of the public trust placed in elected and appointed officials, multiple arrests by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department on behalf of the Santa Barbara County District Attorney brought to light alleged violations of that trust by way of the embezzlement of nearly $2,000,000 by a Santa Barbara County Public Works Department Accountant.
According to County Executive Officer Mona Miyasato, Lynn Hogan, a senior level accountant who has been employed at the Public Works Department overseeing its financial affairs since 1988 is suspected of “diversion of about $1.7 million cumulatively over many years from various funds.”
Hogan, along with Santa Barbara and Ventura County residents Michele Lavin, Leanna Harada, Christina Huffman, Michael Anzivino, Vincent Anzivino, and Wyoming resident Wendy Puchili and Merced resident Richard Kaplinski was taken into custody by SBSD deputies on September 15th and transported to Santa Barbara County Jail for booking on charges of misappropriation of public funds, forgery, and conspiracy. Miyasato, in revealing the arrests to the media, commented that “the arrests follow several months of investigation by the District Attorney’s Office after the county Auditor-Controller’s Office noticed suspicious activity in July and attempts to bypass internal control processes.”
As soon as evidence of the theft was reported to the Santa Barbara District Attorney, charges were filed without releasing any further information as to the method of precise time period of the alleged crimes or how the conspiracy among eight individual suspects was conducted.
Photos: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking