FBI warrants target possible conspiracy, bribery allegations tied to SBIA

SAN BERNARDINO – The FBI is investigating allegations of conspiracy, bribery, money laundering, wire and mail fraud and theft of federal funds in connection with Wednesday’s raid at San Bernardino International Airport, according to a federal search warrant.

Sources who received copies of the warrant on Wednesday and asked not to be identified confirmed the allegations. They also confirmed that investigators are hoping a truckload of documents seized during the raid will show a relationship between airport developer Scot Spencer and San Bernardino Mayor Pat Morris, airport director Donald L. Rogers, aviation director Bill Ingraham and assistant director Michael Burrows, among others.

Spencer did not return several phone calls seeking comment.
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Boards to address FBI investigation at San Bernardino airport

An emergency joint meeting of the San Bernardino International Airport Authority board and the Inland Valley Development Agency board has been set for Friday to address the FBI’s serving of seven search warrants this week at the airport and the Riverside home of airport developer Scot Spencer.

The meeting was called by Josie Gonzales, who chairs the county Board of Supervisors, co-chairs the Inland Valley Development Agency board, and is a member of the airport authority board.

“I was angry,” Gonzales said. “I’m disappointed. I’m frustrated and angry because here we go again with not being able to get ourselves into positions of leadership and trust.”
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San Bernardino man charged with gun theft from shooting range

By Stacia Glenn on October 24, 2008 11:54 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) |

A man was charged today with two felonies for stealing nearly a dozen firearms from a gun store this week, one of which was used to accidentally shoot his girlfriend’s 15-year-old brother in the head.

Mark Amabisca, 18, of San Bernardino is expected to be arraigned today in San Bernardino Superior Court. He has been charged with commercial burglary and grand theft of firearms, according to court records.

Police said Amabisco and friends cut a hole in the roof of Magnum Range on South Lugo Avenue earlier this week and stole nearly a dozen rifles and handguns.
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Former desert airport official pleads guilty to embezzlement

A former Yucca Valley airport official accused of embezzling $1.3 million in state funds pleaded guilty to seven felony counts Monday.

Richard Paul Demel, 51, will spend four years in state prison, get fined $323,491 and be required to pay the missing money back as restitution when he is sentenced Dec. 4, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Demel, of Bermuda Dunes and Yucca Valley, applied for a grant from the state Office of Emergency Services to fix damages at the airport caused by thunderstorms in August 2003, prosecutors said.

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Prosecutors arrest man who bilked soldier again

An unlicensed contractor previously arrested for taking $85,000 from the family of a National Guard soldier was arrested again this week on suspicion of violating the terms of a plea bargain, according to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.

Read more here, as written by Sun Staff Writer Jason Pesick.

Embezzler from water company begins jail time

A former general manager who embezzled more than $138,000 from a mountain area water company surrendered to Sheriff’s deputies Thursday to serve time in county jail.
Clad in a white shirt, blue pants and tie, 40-year-old Charles Patrick Williams was placed in handcuffs and escorted to an area with other inmates in San Bernardino Superior Court.
Williams is expected to serve 90 days in county jail, as part of a plea bargain he reached with prosecutors in June. He was credited for two days already served.
The defendant pleaded no contest to one count of grand theft and was granted three years probation plus the jail time, under the terms of the agreement, according to court records.
A four-year sentence to state prison was suspended by the court, records indicate.
Williams was arrested Aug. 18, 2007 on suspicion of embezzling the money from Valley of Enchantment Water Co., according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
A three-month investigation revealed that more than $138,000 had been misappropriated from the water company.
Police in Northern California made the arrest because Williams had moved to Janesville.
A formal restitution hearing was scheduled for Oct. 2 in San Bernardino Superior Court.