Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Former Treasurer 'Refused to Turn Over Books' in California


Paul Nogaki, 55, is accused of embezzlement and grand theft during his two-year term as treasurer of the Vista Murrieta High School Golden Alliance Band Boosters.

Police revealed more details Friday about the arrest of a former booster club treasurer for the Vista Murrieta High School band.

Paul Nogaki, 55, was arrested Wednesday at his Murrieta home, accused of embezzlement and grand theft from the Golden Alliance Band Boosters.

School district officials and police, however, were not able to immediately provide the amount of money Nogaki is accused of taking.

"That could change, it depends on the audits. Once those are done we will have an exact amount," Murrieta police Sgt. Phil Gomez told Patch on Friday.
Nogaki served as the treasurer of the nonprofit organization for two years, through June 2012.

The booster club raises money to assist and supplement band activities such as travel, food and other related expenses not covered under the school district budget. It is run by parents and is a seperate entity from the high school band itself, district and police officials said.

Gomez said alleged accounting discrepancies surfaced after the newly-elected treasurer asked Nogaki for the bookkeeping records.

"He refused to turn them over," Gomez said. "So (the new treasurer) made his way to the bank and got some records."

Things did not match up, according to Gomez, so the bank statements were turned over to police.

Detectives served a warrant at Nogaki's residence on Buckwood Way, where Gomez said they recovered the books.
"There was enough information to warrant his arrest," the sergeant said.

A forensic audit—to be paid for by the booster club—will provide more insight into the depth of the alleged embezzlement, Gomez said.

Nogaki was booked on suspicion of embezzlement and grand theft of more than $400. He was free on $135,000 bail after spending one night behind bars, according to jail records.

Patch attempted to seek out Nogaki for comment on Friday at his residence, but no one answered the door.

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