Almanac

News - March 6, 2013

College IT director pleads no contest to forgery, embezzlement charges

• Partner in crime pleads no contest to felony identity theft.

by Sandy Brundage

Bradley John Witham, former director of the information technology (IT) division of the San Mateo County Community College District, pleaded no contest to three counts of forgery and one count of embezzlement on Feb. 27. He also pleaded guilty to "taking, damaging or destroying" at least $65,000 worth of property during the commission of a felony.

With the assistance of co-defendant Mark Anthony Bustos, who also worked in the IT division, Mr. Witham allegedly embezzled $350,000 from the college district over six years, buying dozens of computers, hard drives and memory sticks online using the district's credit card, then selling the items via eBay and Craigslist, according to the district attorney's office. Prosecutors said the pair also submitted three fake reimbursement requests for iPhones and a bunk bed.

According to District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, Mr. Bustos hacked into the vice chancellor's email to find information about the investigation, then alerted his partner in crime, who was on vacation in Australia at the time. He pleaded no contest to felony identity theft and was immediately sentenced to three years of probation following 90 days in jail.

Mr. Witham's sentencing is scheduled for March 21. He faces a maximum of five years in state prison.

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