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Former Long Beach City Employee Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

LOS ANGELES – A former clerk who handled cash transactions for the City of Long Beach Care Services Bureau pleaded guilty to embezzling thousands of dollars in public funds and filing a false state tax return.

Deputy District Attorney Dana Aratani of the Public Integrity Division said that as part of a negotiated plea, Jongluck Mutrais, 59, is expected to be sentenced to three years in state prison on Sept. 12. Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Robert M. Kawahara also is expected to order the defendant to pay $600,000 in restitution to the City of Long Beach and $48,194 to the California Franchise Tax Board.

Besides pleading guilty to embezzling public monies and filing a false state tax return in 2008, Mutrais admitted two allegations that the amount of money taken was excessive; more than $100,000. Additional embezzlement and false tax return charges are scheduled to be dismissed after sentencing.

The defendant was arrested by Long Beach Police Department officers on May 10, a day after a felony criminal case was filed. She has remained in custody since that time.

Mutrais was accused of embezzling public funds over an 11-month period between Oct. 1, 2009, and Sept. 1, 2010. The theft came to light in August 2010 after the Animal Care Services Bureau implemented a comprehensive computer system to track funds. She resigned the same month that the audit was reported.

The Animal Care Services Bureau is responsible for kennel operations, dog licensing, adoption and general animal control in Long Beach.