Oscar James Edwards. Photo via LinkedIn.com
Oscar James Edwards. Photo via LinkedIn.com

A solar power equipment contractor charged with stealing nearly $1 million from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power pleaded no contest Friday to two criminal charges and was immediately sentenced to seven years in state prison.

Oscar James Edwards, 48, was also ordered to pay more than $970,000 in restitution following his no contest plea to one count each of grand theft and money laundering, according to Greg Risling of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors said the DWP contracted with Edwards, who owned Computer Systems Integration Corp., to provide solar inverters from a Colorado company in 2014. A solar inverter, according to Wikipedia, is a critical part of a photovoltaic system that uses the sun to create electricity.

The inverters were delivered to the utility, which paid Edwards about $970,000, but Edwards never turned that cash over to the Colorado company, prosecutors said after the case against him was filed last year.

Edwards was arrested last June by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies and has remained jailed since then.

— City News Service

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