Former Los Angeles-Area Cop Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

As a police officer, Gene Tomatani didn’t have to be told that stealing from his union and his employer was illegal. At least now he’s acknowledged as much. On February 10, Tomatani, a former officer with Redondo Beach, California police force, pleaded guilty in Los Angeles County Superior Court to embezzlement of more than $75,000, mainly from the local police officers association. Under the reported settlement, he will receive a sentence later this month of 90 days in jail, three years of probation, and one year at meetings of Gamblers Anonymous.

Tomatani, 40, performed double duty. He headed the special investigations unit with the police force of Redondo Beach, a city with a population of 60,000 located south of L.A. International Airport. He also was president and treasurer of the Redondo Beach Police Officers Association. Prosecutors alleged that Tomatani had stolen $72,388.56 from the association, embezzling in increments of $1,000 to $3,000. He also stole about $3,000 from his department. He stepped down from his union post in November 2008 and the police force this past October. His leniency of sentence in some measure may have been due his already having paid $12,000 toward restitution on December 9, 2009.