Law enforcement officers are supposed to protect the public from financial crimes, not engage in them. Donald Philip Atkinson didn't take the credo seriously. On June 20, Atkinson, a retired sergeant with the El Dorado County, California Sheriff's Department, pleaded no contest to three charges related to his embezzlement of over $300,000 from the deputy sheriffs' association he headed, plus another $100,000 from the mother of a friend. He had been arrested in March and charged with 44 felony counts, including fraud, embezzlement and forgery. At the time, Atkinson pleaded not guilty. The case grew out of an investigation by the California Attorney General's Office and El Dorado County prosecutors. The deal called for Atkinson to serve five years in state prison and pay full restitution. Sentencing was handed down on July 31.