OCDASeal Orange County District Attorney
Press Release

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Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701


For Immediate Release
August 10th, 2005
Contact: Mark Macaulay
Media Relations Spokesperson
(714) 347-8405

Santa Ana –   Former Orange County trash executive Jeffrey Alan Hambarian, 51, was convicted today on 47 felony counts including Grand Theft, Money Laundering, Tax Fraud and Corporations Code violations.   The jury deadlocked 11-1 in favor of guilt on one count of Grand Theft involving $300,000 and 7 counts of Presenting False Claims.   As a result of the conviction, the defendant could receive up to 20 years in state prison and fines totaling nearly $14 million. 

Since 1954, Hambarian’s family owned and operated a series of companies involved in trash and recycling in the City of Orange.  The defendant was the executive vice president of one of the four companies and directly involved in management of the family businesses.  

“Our team is gratified by the jury’s verdicts in this complex fraud case,” said Senior Deputy District Attorney Ron Cafferty of the Economic Crimes Unit who prosecuted the case from inception.   “I am pleased that the jury spent the time necessary to review thousands of documents and the testimony of over 50 witnesses.   Their verdict ensures that Mr. Hambarian will finally be held accountable for his illegal acts while also recognizing the loss to the residents and taxpayers.”

The charges in this long running case involved schemes by Hambarian to defraud both the city and family businesses out over $4 million.  From 1984 to1997, Hambarian colluded with vendors to generate false billings and profited personally from these thefts.   Hambarian also secretly obtained “kickbacks” from a landfill where rubbish was dumped.  Hambarian was fired by the company in April 1997 and a criminal investigation by the Orange Police Department began. 

The Orange County District Attorneys Office assumed responsibility for the investigation in August 1997 and worked together with the Orange Police Department to complete the investigation.  The case was filed in December 1998.

Extensive pre-trial litigation included a trip to the California Supreme Court on an issue involving whether the District Attorney’s Office should be recused because the victim paid for an accountant during the investigation.   The Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s decision to deny the recusal request by the defense.  (Hambarian v. Superior Court 27 Cal 4th 826). 

Sentencing is set for September 16, 2005 in department C-35 of the Orange County Superior Court, Central Justice Center, 700 Civic Center Drive West, Santa Ana, CA  92701, before the Honorable Frank F. Fasel.