|For Immediate Release
Case # 06CF1636
July 6, 2009
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
FORMER CHIEF PROFESSIONAL OFFICER OF 30 YEARS AT BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF TUSTIN TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR STEALING MORE THAN $115,000 FROM CLUB
*Defendant accused of spending stolen money on vacations and fictitious-job salary for wife
SANTA ANA – The former Chief Professional Officer for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tustin (BGCT) will be arraigned for stealing more than $115,000 from BGCT by using club funds to pay for personal vacations and pay his wife a salary for a fictitious job that she did not hold. Clifford Lewis Polston, 60, Tustin, is charged with three felony counts of grand theft, 23 felony counts of forgery, one felony count of altering entries in books and records, and white collar crime sentencing enhancements for taking over $50,000. If convicted on all counts, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years and eight months in state prison. The People will be requesting $116,000 bail at Polston’s arraignment today, July 6, 2009, at
1:30 p.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana. The defendant must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bail.
Polston worked as the Chief Professional Officer for BGCT between 1977 and 2007. The BGCT organization is a non-profit center aimed at providing social and educational programs at safe facilities for underprivileged and at-risk youth.
Between 2001 and 2007, Polston is accused of stealing approximately $116,000 from BGCT. He is accused of using approximately $35,000 in BCGT funds to pay off his personal credit cards for expenses not related to BGCT, including vacation rentals in Hawaii, plane tickets to Vancouver and Las Vegas, and parking at Los Angeles International Airport while on a trip to Tahiti.
During this same time period, Polston is accused creating a fictitious “educational consultant” job for his wife, Elsie Polston, who did not work at BGCT at that time. He is accused of stealing over $72,800 from BGCT by writing checks to his wife under the false pretense that the payments were for work performed.
In the spring of 2007, the Board of Directors of BGCT noticed suspicious financial transactions related to Polston during a routine audit. The defendant is accused of resigning in October 2007 after being confronted by the BGCT Board of Directors regarding the suspected theft.
Shortly before resigning, Polston is accused of altering BGCT’s written policy without authorization from the Board of Directors regarding financial reimbursement for unused sick time. Polston is accused of changing the policy just prior to resigning to state that unused sick time would be paid to the employee upon termination. The policy had previously stated that unused sick time would not be paid to the employee upon termination. Polston is accused of then filing a civil lawsuit against BGCT.