Gwen Vuchsas, the former Westchester-Playa del Rey Neighborhood Council president and former president of the Pacific Area Boosters Association, has agreed to a plea bargain requiring 45 days of community service, stemming from one felony count of embezzling from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) boosters group.
Vuchsas appeared at Superior Court Airport Courthouse on Monday, October 23rd, and will return to court Tuesday, April 3rd, when she will plead guilty, according to her attorney David Voss.
Prosecutor Don Tamura said her case could be downgraded to a misdemeanor charge of grand theft, making Vuchsas eligible for probation if she has successfully completed her community service.
Vuchsas allegedly misappropriated funds in the amount of $34,550 from June 27th to August 4th in six separate transactions while functioning as the booster association treasurer, according to Tamura.
The funds were allegedly funneled through the security firm — SECO Investigative and Security Services — owned by Vuchsas and her husband Jim, a 25-year veteran of the LAPD, re- portedly to cover payroll and other bills for the company.
Tamura said his office agreed to the deal after learning that the money had been repaid and that Vuchsas had no prior criminal record and after receiving a significant number of letters supportive of Vuchsas.
“In a society that too often makes excuses, I choose now to offer none, but rather tell you that I have owned up to my error in judgment,” said Vuchsas in a statement issued through Voss.
“While I readily accept that I have brought this upon myself and have no one else to blame, it is unfortunate and hurtful that there have been so many outrageous rumors that have been fabricated by those who would choose to take the low road and tear me down by spreading lies about me, the extent of what I did and even casting aspersions on my family to apparently satisfy their own personal grudges,” Vuchsas said in her statement.