Retired sheriff’s deputy pleads no contest to embezzling towing fees from City of La Puente

Statement issued by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office:


LOS ANGELES - A retired sheriff’s deputy accused of embezzling half a million dollars from the City of La Puente pleaded no contest today and will be sentenced to three years in state prison, the District Attorney’s office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Amy Pellman Pentz with the Justice System Integrity Division said Joseph Dyer, 56, pleaded no contest to one felony count of public officer crime before Judge Stephen Marcus. He returns to court on May 31 for sentencing.

Dyer and his wife, Lydia Dyer, 47, were indicted in July 2009 on charges that he stole nearly $500,000 in tow fees from La Puente and they failed to report that money on their tax returns.

As a sheriff’s deputy, Dyer supervised the impound program at LASD’s Industry Station and collected towing fees from residents. Between June 2001 to December 2007, he stole money that should have been paid to the City of La Puente.

The indictment charged Dyer with grand theft, embezzlement and public officer crime. In addition, he and his wife were charged with five counts of filing false tax returns.

Pentz said Lydia Dyer pleaded no contest today to a reduced charge of misdemeanor filing a false tax return. She was immediately sentenced to 12 months summary probation.

As a condition of their plea, Pentz said the couple today repaid the Sheriff’s Department $554,588, which included the loss plus $100,000 to help reimburse the LASD for the cost of the investigation.

They also paid $44,149 in back taxes to the state Franchise Tax Board on March 10.

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