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December 15, 2014

Ex-Head of Calif. Symphony Convicted of Embezzling $272,000

The former executive director of the Peninsula Symphony faces up to 16 years in prison after being found guilty earlier this month of stealing $272,000 from the volunteer Bay Area ensemble, reports the San Jose Mercury News. Stephen Jay Carlton, 46, was convicted of grand theft, embezzlement, forgery, and other offenses.

An investigation by state officials and police in the symphony's hometown of Los Altos, Calif., found that Mr. Carlton began writing checks to himself to siphon money from the organization shortly after he took up his post in mid-2010. He was arrested in March 2014, six months after abruptly resigning.

Prosecutors are seeking an unusually long sentence for a nonviolent offense because Mr. Carlton has a previous conviction for a crime covered by California's "three strikes" law. He was convicted about 20 years of voluntary manslaughter for strangling his wife during what his attorney described as "some sort of mutual conduct they were doing together."