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Fugitive Wanted On Suspicion Of Embezzling More Than $650K Nabbed In Philippines

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INDIO (CBSLA.com) — Authorities Friday said a man wanted on suspicion of embezzling more than $650,000 from his since-dissolved construction company has been captured in the Philippines.

The Riverside County District Attorney’s office said in a news release that Michael William Barnett was located in Manila last month.

He had been held in a Homeland Security immigration facility before being deported back to the United States on Thursday.

“Earlier this month, a judge in the Philippines authorized the deportation of Barnett to the United States for the Riverside County charge of one felony count of embezzlement,” authorities said in the news release.

Barnett, who formed the general partnership company with another person, allegedly moved large sums of money between his personal and business accounts “in an attempt to hide company profits,” according to the news release.

He is accused of embezzling $656,000 from Brandon Construction. The company dissolved in July 2006.

His wife, Bettina Barnett, pled guilty in April 2012 to one felony count of embezzlement. She was sentenced to 180 days behind bars and five years of formal probation, authorities said.

Barnett has since been booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside. He is expected to be arraigned on April 16.

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