Former City Employee Arrested And Charged; Accused of Embezzling $251,000

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violent crime in long beachOn Thursday, May 10, 2012, detectives from the Long Beach Police Department’s Forgery/Fraud Detail arrested Jongluck “Lucky” Mutrais, a former Long Beach Animal Care Services Bureau clerk, for misappropriation of $251,000 in public funds.

Suspect Mutrais, a 59-year-old resident of Orange, was arrested at her home this morning without incident and charged with multiple felony counts, including misappropriation of public funds, altering or falsifying an account, embezzlement by a public officer, and filing false tax returns. She is currently being held at the Long Beach City Jail on $500,000 bail. If convicted of all the charges, Mutrais faces up to nine years in state prison.

A criminal complaint was filed on May 9, 2012, in which Mutrais is accused of embezzling the funds over an eleven-month period between October 1, 2009, and August 31, 2010. The theft came to light on August 31, 2010, after new management in the Animal Care Services Bureau implemented a comprehensive computer system to improve animal license, dispatch, and shelter information, and to enhance tracking of their daily financial operations. City management notified the Long Beach Police Department and the Office of the City Auditor, and both immediately initiated independent investigations.

Suspect Mutrais, a 21-year employee of Animal Care Services, resigned on September 1, 2010.

“Fraud of any kind by a City employee will not be tolerated and we will aggressively pursue criminal charges against any employee who we believe embezzled taxpayers’ funds,” said Patrick H. West, City Manager.

The collaborative investigation by the Long Beach Police Department, Animal Care Services, and the City Auditor led to the recent filing of charges with the District Attorney and the arrest of Mutrais.

Long Beach Animal Care Services Bureau is responsible for the intake of stray and surrendered animals, field and kennel operations, animal abuse investigations, pet licensing, low-cost pet care services, and other related operations.

Anyone who may have information regarding this case is urged to contact Long Beach Police Department Forgery/Fraud Detail at (562) 570-7330. Anonymous tips may be submitted via text or web by visiting www.tipsoft.com.

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