Tag Archives: inyo county district attorney tom hardy

Sally Symons Pleads Guilty

Sally Ann Symons Pleads Guilty to Misappropriation of Government Funds

submitted by Inyo County District Attorney Tom Hardy

Sally Ann Symons entered a plea of guilty today to a felony violation of Penal Code section 424, misappropriation of government funds. The charge alleged that the misappropriation took place between August, 2014 and September, 2015, while Ms. Symons served as the Chief Executive Officer for the Tri-County Fairgrounds, and followed an investigation conducted by the California Highway Patrol Inland Division Investigative Services Unit.

Under the terms of an agreed disposition, Ms. Symons will be placed on five years of formal probation, and required to serve up to 270 days in the Inyo County jail as a term of that probation. The court will set the exact length of the jail term when she appears for sentencing on March 14, 2016 in Bishop. She will be ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $9,860.00 and will not be allowed to work in any positions allowing her to handle the money of third parties without the permission of her probation officer. She will also be required to stay off of the premises of the Tri-County Fair during the term of her probation. The Court will also have discretion to set fines and fees. By law, she will be forbidden from holding any public office in the future. Under the terms of the disposition, Ms. Symons will not be allowed to participate in electronic monitoring.

Sentencing will take place on March 14, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. at the Bishop Branch of the Inyo County Superior Court.

inyo county court news, tri-county fair, inyo county superior court, inyo county district attorney tom hardy

Arrest Made In Fairgrounds Embezzlement Case

Former CEO Sally Symons Arrested

Inyo County District Attorney Tom Hardy Released the following statement today:

Sally Ann Symons Arrested on Embezzlement Charges

District Attorney Investigators arrested former Tri-County Fair CEO Sally Ann Symons on embezzlement and misuse of government funds charges this morning (Monday, November 30th) after she voluntarily surrendered herself at the District Attorney’s office in Bishop. The District Attorney has filed a complaint alleging three felony counts: Misappropriation of Government Funds, Embezzlement of Government funds, and Grand Theft. The Complaint alleges that the acts took place between August, 2014 and September, 2015, while Ms. Symons served as the Chief Executive Officer for the fair. The complaint follows an extensive investigation conducted by the California Highway Patrol Inland Division Investigative Services Unit. Because the alleged crimes involve the theft of state property and were alleged to have occurred on the grounds of a state facility, the CHP handled the initial investigation.

Ms. Symons was booked at the Inyo County Jail and posted a $25,000.00 bail bond. She was ordered to appear in the Inyo County Superior Court in Bishop on January 6th,  2016 for formal arraignment on the charges.

On October 22nd the California Highway Patrol released the following statement:

In July of 2015, the California Highway Patrol, Inland Division Investigative Services Unit, initiated an investigation into the possible embezzlement of funds from the Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fairgrounds.  During the extensive investigation, CHP investigators determined Bishop area resident Sally Ann Symons, 46, embezzled funds belonging to the Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fair.   On October 21, 2015, Symons, who is a former employee of the Tri-County Fair, was detained and transported to the Bishop Area CHP office for questioning.  The CHP report containing the embezzlement and other various charges will be submitted to the Inyo County District Attorney’s office for review.

In 2013, the CHP investigated a similar embezzlement case involving the Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fairgrounds.  Both investigations are unrelated.

tri-county fair embezzlement, inyo county district attorney tom hardy, california highway patrol, inyo county embezzlement

Former Inyo Correctional officer jailed

Debra Didisee enters guilty plea, reports to jail

Former Inyo County Sheriffs Department correctional officer Debra Didisee recently plead guilty to a felony count of grand theft by embezzlement.  The guilty plea was entered on June 24th.  While sentencing is set for August 26th, Inyo County District Attorney Tom Hardy indicates Didisee asked to begin her term in Inyo County Jail.  Didisee was booked into Inyo County Jail on Friday, July 3rd.  According to Hardy, if Didisee pays $13,000 of restitution by sentencing, she will serve a agreed 180 days in jail and face five years of probation.  The District Attorney notes probation will include substance and alcohol abuse terms and require that she not manage money of others without permission of probation and/or the court.  Hardy is anticipating Didisee will pay the initial restitution, but if not, the court could impose up to a one year jail term.  The $13,000 restitution amount is described as an agreed minimum.

inyo so
Booking Photo, Debra Didisee. Courtesy of inyo county sheriffs department.

At the time of her initial arrest back in March, the District Attorney indicated the matter was being investigated on referral from the Inyo County Sheriffs Department.  The investigation began when the Sheriffs Department became aware of missing funds in the Inmate Welfare Account and the Inmate Commissary Account at the Inyo County Jail.

inyo county sheriffs department, inyo county district attorney tom hardy, inyo county jail

Bishop Businessman Sentenced

Jiminez Sentenced on Felony Embezzlement Charges

Statement from Inyo County District Attorney Tom Hardy.

At a sentencing hearing on Thursday, June 18, 2015 local businessman Jose “Jay” Jiminez was placed on five years of formal felony probation and ordered to serve 240 days in the Inyo County Jail for embezzling from a now-deceased client who had given him a power of attorney. He must serve an actual 90 days, and may apply for electronic monitoring for the balance of his sentence. The court set restitution in the amount of $79,449.76. He is also forbidden from acting as a fiduciary and from managing money or property on behalf of other individuals during the term of his probation, and may not engage in the tax preparation business.

The case began in August, 2012, when the Ombudsman’s Office received a complaint on behalf of the victim and a criminal investigation was initiated by the Bishop Police Department. The investigation discovered that in November, 2011 Jiminez was granted power of attorney by the victim in the case. This gave Jimenez access to the victim’s bank and credit card accounts. Jimenez used the power of attorney to pay bills for victim; but he also used the accounts to fund his businesses, Jimenez Tax Service and Petite Pantry, as well as pay personal bills. In March, 2012, Jimenez also sold victim’s mobile home for forty thousand dollars ($40,000.00). Jimenez received seventeen thousand dollars cash ($17,000.00) and a 2004 Hummer valued at approximately twenty-three thousand dollars ($23,000.00). Jimenez apparently pocketed the cash – records indicate it was not deposited into any account owned by the victim – and took possession of the Hummer.

Mr. Jiminez had previously entered a “no contest” plea to a felony embezzlement charge.

inyo county news, bishop news, inyo county district attorney tom hardy, jay jiminez, bishop police department

Jury Trial ends with conviction

Inyo Jury Finds Chavez Guilty

Inyo County District Attorney Tom Hardy is announcing an Inyo County Jury has found Tashina Chavez Guilty of assault. According to Hardy, the jury found Bishop area resident Tashina Chavez guilty of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and battery causing serious bodily injury. The jury also found to be “true” a special allegation that Ms. Chavez personally inflicted great bodily injury. The verdicts followed a four day jury trial that commenced on June 8, 2015. The offense occurred on June 9, 2014. The case is now set for sentencing in Independence on July 7, 2015. Chavez is facing up to seven years in state prison. Hardy notes that the case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Michael Turner following an investigation by the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department.

Inyo county court, inyo county jury trial, inyo county district attorney tom hardy, bishop news

Inyo Felony Embezzlement Case

Bishop Man Facing Jail time at June Sentencing

A Bishop businessman has plead no contest to a felony count of embezzlement. Jay Jimenez, owner of Petite Pantry and Jimenez Tax Service, plead no contest on March 3rd to a felony charge of embezzlement. Jimenez will be back in Inyo Court on June 1st for sentencing. According to Inyo County District Attorney Tom Hardy, at sentencing Jimenez is facing 240 days in jail and 5 years of formal probation. Jimenez will also be expected to pay restitution in the neighborhood of 50 thousand dollars, however the exact amount of restitution will be determined at the time of sentencing.  The felony charge originated from Jimenez’s relationship with an elderly client.

bishop news, inyo court, inyo county district attorney tom hardy

Jury Trial ends with Conviction

Inyo Jury Convicts Christopher Ortiz in Felony Domestic Violence Case

Inyo County District Attorney Tom Hardy announced this morning that Bishop-area resident Christopher Ortiz was convicted this week after a short jury trial on a felony charge of Domestic Violence and a misdemeanor child abuse violation based on events occurring on December 6, 2014.  Following the jury’s verdicts, the court found to be “true” a special allegation that Mr. Ortiz had previously served a term in state prison.

Sentencing in the case is set for April 14, 2015 in Independence, and Mr. Ortiz is facing up to six years in state prison. The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Michael Turner, following an investigation by the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department. The District Attorney’s office would also like to thank the Bishop Paiute Tribe RAVE (Relief After Violent Encounters) staff for their support and assistance in this case.

inyo county news, inyo county district attorney tom hardy, inyo county sheriffs department, bishop paiute tribe R.A.V.E.