California Boss Sentenced for $30,000 Theft

Superior Court Judge David Szumowski placed Art Vieira, ex-board member of the Carlsbad (Cal.) Police Officers Ass’n,  on probation Jan. 4 and ordered to pay back $30,000 he admitted stealing from the CPOA over seven years. The sentence resulted from a plea bargain in which Vieira agreed to reimburse $30,000 in exchange for a recommendation from the Dist. Atty’s Office that he not be sent to jail or prison. He must pay back the money by the end of probation.

Szumowski spared Vieira a prison term but refused Vieira’s request that his felony grand theft conviction be reduced to a misdemeanor. Had he gone to trial and been convicted, Vieira faced a maximum three-year prison sentence.  Under state law the felony conviction will prevent him from working as a peace officer.  Reportedly, he will be granted a disability retirement due to two bad knees and a bad back.

Prosecutor Julie Korsmeyer said Vieira, as a union board member, had access to CPOA’s money from 1990 to 1997.  She felt sure prosecutors could have proved that he stole $30,000. But her office suspects as much as $80,000 may have been stolen.

The thefts were discovered in early 1998, when a new board of directors took over and audited the books. Checks totaling $30,000 were made out to cash and signed by Vieira, then endorsed and cashed by him. After the audit, the association asked prosecutors to investigate the missing money, and Vieira was charged with grand theft in October.  He pled guilty last month. [S.D. Union-Trib. 1/5/00]

Judge Appoints Monitor for IBF
U.S. Dist. Judge John W. Bissell granted Jan 12 the Dept’ of Justice’s request to appoint a monitor to oversee operations of the Int’l Boxing Fed’n, whose leadership has been indicted on charges of taking bribes to fix boxer rankings. Bissell named attorney Joseph Hayden, Jr., to act as IBF monitor, giving him broad powers to help reform the organization. Bissell also ordered that the indicted co-defendants – Robert Lee, Sr., Robert Lee, Jr., Don W. Brennan and Francisco Fernandez – be barred from any involvement in IBF affairs.

This action had been sought in a proposed injunction filed by DOJ on Nov. 22, as part of a civil racketeering suit against the IBF and its top officials. The filing of the lawsuit followed the Nov. 4 unsealing of a RICO Indictment naming the Lees, Brennan and Fernandez. DOJ charged the defendants with running the IBF as a racketeering enterprise, in which they routinely solicited and accepted bribes from fight promoters and managers to fix fighter rankings. [USAO D.N.J., Media Release 1/12/99]