News

Ex-symphony head charged with embezzlement

Hundreds of thousands of dollars missing from nonprofit's bank accounts

The former executive director of the Peninsula Symphony Association has been accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from the decades-old Los Altos community orchestra.

Stephen Jay Carlton, a 45-year-old Novato resident, is facing multiple felony charges, including grand theft, embezzlement, forgery, identity theft and tax eviction.

He faces up to 18 years in prison if he is convicted. He was arrested late last week.

Carlton came under suspicion in September 2013 after one of the association's board members was alerted that the 65-year-old nonprofit's funds were unusually low, according to a press release issued by the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office.

Carlton resigned shortly after board members brought the issue to the Los Altos Police Department, the press release said. One of the symphony's endowments dropped from $227,000 to $375; another was depleted by nearly $200,000 -- going from $195,000 to $395.

In a subsequent investigation, it was shown that Carlton had used association checks to pay himself, prosecutors said. He is accused of forging the signatures of two board members on a number of the checks, taking out an unauthorized $25,000 loan in the association's name and using the money to pay down personal debts.

Comments

Posted by June Curran, a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Mar 6, 2014 at 1:44 pm

[Post removed. We have no way of verifying this information.]


Posted by June Curran, a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Mar 7, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Interesting and unfortunate that you removed my comment about Mr. Steven Jay Carlton's condo in Novato being listed several days ago for sale in Novato, Marin County. You said you had no way of verifying this information. Perhaps you didn't realize this verification could be done within a moment by consulting MLS. Anyone can access this information - online - at any time of day or night.

The point I had made is that Mr. Carlton is accused of embezzling nearly $500,000. His condo was just listed on the market for sale. The man is in custody and your article (and others) indicate he will possibly serve up to 18 years for his crime (if convicted). My point was that Mr. Carlton's condo proceeds could be used to repay the Peninsula Symphony for some of the money he allegedly stole.


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Scott’s Seafood Mountain View to close, reopen as new concept
By Elena Kadvany | 12 comments | 3,702 views

Who Says Kids Don’t Eat Vegetables?
By Laura Stec | 9 comments | 1,889 views

Breastfeeding Tips
By Jessica T | 11 comments | 1,699 views

Community Service Helps You, Too
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 1 comment | 1,143 views

Having A Hard Time Getting Your Child To Dive Into Their Summer Reading? Take A Trip To Bookopolis…
By Erin Glanville | 0 comments | 576 views