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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

Comments (7)
  1. swhitS says:

    So where’s the money?

  2. Angel J. Perea says:

    Tax payers, although fortunately, I am not serviced by this agency, nothing that is uncovered about this “politically” orientate company surprises me. Unsupervised employee was “linked to a multimillion-dollar plot to divert public funds!” It is a fact that DWP employees are the obscenely the highest paid in LA City. And recently, they were asking for 10-15% rate increase for customers! Thank God, I do not depend on this agency for power!

  3. Jose says:

    Out in 6 days and 4 hours due to overcrowding and non-violent crime.

  4. Brad H., JD says:

    THis is just the tip of the iceberg. Low level employees like Mr. C usually play follow the leader and simply do for themselves as they see their supervisors do. If Cooley was smart he would have used these guys as informants to get the big fish who are raking in even more millions. As the recession continues to eat away at tax money more and more corruption comes to the surface. The biggest corruption is in the redevelopment agencies which is now the issue stopping a balanced state budget. Those agencies control billions of dollars and land in Calif. lots of graft and corruption there. The corruption in the State Bar has caused the Chief Trial Counsel to resign after less than a year in office. The Bar is taking the licenses of any lawyer brave enough to sue the banks for fraud in the foreclosure money schemes. The NY State Bar is aiding lawyers in suing the banks and a lot of fraud and bank dishonesty has been revealed in those lawsuits which has resulted in foreclosure moratoriums for as long as a year in some states. In CA the lawyers who dare sue banks get their licenses taken from them permanently. 1/2 of the bar’s discipline is now devoted to stopping lawyers from suing banks and stopping the banks from foreclosing on bad loans and bank misconduct.

  5. Ron says:

    While FBI is in L.A., they could have so many government departments and employees to investigate for criminal activity.

    And like Angel said the DWP is asking for rate increases.

    Time to CLEAN house in L.A. Government.

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