Sacto 9-1-1
February 26, 2013
Man sentenced to prison for embezzling from Davis firm

A Brentwood man has been sentenced to five years in prison for embezzling from his employer, a Davis-based firm.

Benjamin Chaney, 33, was convicted in January of grand theft, embezzlement, one "aggravated white collar crime" enhancement, and two counts of state income tax evasion relating to theft from his employer, according to a Yolo County District Attorney's Office news release. He was sentenced Friday by Yolo County Superior Court Judge Stephen Mock.

Chaney had been employed as chief financial officer for Harper Model Home Maintenance, a company owned by his former mother-in-law and father-in-law. Between 2003 and 2007, he embezzled more than $300,000 from his employer by paying his personal expenses with corporate funds and altering the records to cover the fraud, officials said.

Chaney made unauthorized purchases for gifts, child-support payments, computers, furniture, appliances, mortgage payments and to buy assets for a competing business he intended to start.

Chaney, who already had a six-figure salary, also failed to claim the income on his tax returns for 2006 and 2007, giving rise to tax liability, according to the news release.

Mock ordered Chaney to pay more than $340,000 in restitution to his former employer and more than $67,000 to the state, representing the unpaid tax, penalties, interest and the cost of the tax investigation.

The judge also sentenced Chaney's wife, Kara Brown, to three years of felony probation for acting as an accessory to her husband's thefts.

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