A former employee of the city of Downey and another man pleaded not guilty Friday to felony charges stemming from an alleged scheme that prosecutors say cost the city more than $60,000.
Former city employee Alejandro “Alex” Silva, 47, is charged with one count each of grand theft by embezzlement of government funds, misappropriation of public funds and grand theft.
Co-defendant Mike Shafer, 59, is charged with one count each of grand theft by embezzlement of government funds and grand theft.
Silva — who was a lead worker for the city’s maintenance and facilities department — is accused of assisting Shafer in the alleged scheme in which personal items were allegedly ordered online with a business credit card and invoices were sent to city officials by disguising the items as car parts, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Shafer, also known as Mike Shidfar, worked as a manager for an auto parts store, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
The criminal complaint alleges that the crimes occurred between April 2017 and February 2018.
“No one should abuse their position and betray the public’s trust,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement announcing the charges.
The two were ordered to be released on their own recognizance.
A date is scheduled to be set Aug. 27 for a hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence to require them to stand trial.
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