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Ex-DWP Official Headed For Prison After Guilty Plea To $3.5M Fraud

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A former Department of Water and Power plumbing supervisor pleaded guilty Friday to felony charges linked to a multimillion-dollar plot to divert public funds.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David M. Horwitz immediately sentenced Anthony Mark Carone, 49, to three years in prison.

Carone pleaded guilty to one count each of conflict of interest and misappropriation of public funds and two counts of conspiracy, according to Deputy District Attorney Gary Nielsen.

The judge also set a July 22 hearing to determine how much restitution Carone will have to pay.

“He made a mistake. He apologizes to the city for any harm he’s caused,” defense attorney Vicki I. Podberesky said outside court.

Carone was charged last October along with Akbar Fonooni, 55, who worked for the DWP as a fire protection engineer, and a third man, Troy Holt, 46.

The criminal complaint alleged that the crimes occurred between July 2003 and December 2009.

Carone and Fonooni were accused of spending just over $3.5 million using so-called “P cards” — purchase cards from the DWP that are similar to credit cards — to buy items at mark-up prices from companies set up by Carone and others, according to the prosecutor.

“No one can tell exactly how much was delivered to the DWP,” Nielsen said after the sentencing.

Fonooni is believed to be outside of the country. Holt, who is awaiting a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require him to stand trial, is due back in Los Angeles Superior Court July 22.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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