03/06/2001

Officer accused of embezzling $7,000 obtained fundraising for disabled deputy

By Richard Winton, Times Staff Writer
Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES COUNTY, Calif. -- A community service officer with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department pleaded not guilty Friday to charges that she embezzled about $7,000 that she solicited from businesses on behalf of a fund for a medically disabled deputy.

Imelda Zambrano, 28, of South Gate was allegedly videotaped last month receiving a check for the relief fund from a restaurant owner; prosecutors say she deposited the check into her own bank account.

"She'd been doing this kind of thing for about a year," Deputy Dist. Atty. Thomas Krag said. "What she didn't know this time was, it was a sting operation."

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