Sherry Gong admits to embezzlement, attorney says

July 9, 2019

Sherry Gong

An attorney representing the wife of San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong, who is charged with embezzling more than $32,000 from the Atascadero High School Band and Pageantry Booster Club, released a statement saying his client admitted her actions to Atascadero police and she took the money because of a family emergency. [Tribune]

On Monday, prosecutors charged Sherry Gong, the former treasurer for the booster organization, with three felony counts of grand theft by embezzlement, for which she faces up to four years and four months in prison. Late in the day, Sherry Gong’s attorney, Guy Galambos, released a statement claiming his client had borrowed funds from the booster club to address the family emergency and had not succeeded in paying them back.

“About a year ago (April 2018) Sherry Gong was subjected to a highly stressful family crisis. A close family member called her in a panic. He begged her for a large sum of money he needed within three days, declaring it was a matter of life or death, but he wouldn’t elaborate on the details,” Galambos’s statement says.

Galambos characterized the embezzled funds as “borrowed” money and as an “emergency loan” that Sherry Gong intended to repay but never did. Sherry Gong tried to recoup the money by borrowing from extended family members and selling some of her jewelry.

Sherry Gong was frightened and embarrassed, and she did not tell her husband about the situation.

“When she was contacted by the Atascadero Police Department, Sherry agreed to an interview where she admitted her actions and she presented replacement funds to the investigative detective in the form of cashier’s checks. It was only after this meeting that her husband was informed,” Galambos said in the statement.

Galambos also said Sherry Gong feels great remorse and shame for her actions and seeks to repay the booster club as soon as possible.

According to the SLO County District Attorney’s Office, Sherry Gong took $3,104 out of an Atascadero High School Band and Pageantry Booster Club bank account on about July 5, 2017. Then on about April 24, 2018, Sherry Gong allegedly lifted $19,000 from a second booster club bank account. Later the same day, Sherry Gong allegedly took another $9,850 from another of the club’s accounts.

After the district attorney’s office announced it had filed charges, Tommy Gong released a statement saying he is not implicated in the case and was not aware of the matter until recently receiving a call from an Atascadero police detective. Tommy Gong also said he is standing by his wife’s side and supporting her during this difficult time.

In 2018, Tommy Gong received a base salary of $151,253 from SLO County, according to Transparent California.


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ShootTheMessenger

Welcome to SLO DA’s new policy on theft… just pay it back.


Rob a bank… just pay it back

Steal a car… just bring it back

Embezzle from children… just pay it back


BTW this new policy only applies to the ‘protected class’ of people.


nazbol gang

This sounds like a job for Dirty Dan Dow!!


Mjd

Folks,


This glossing over of a clear case of felony embezzlement wreaks of insider influence, and SLO County is famous for letting off well-to-do connected criminals who have influence.


This case ought to be handled by prosecutors and judges in Santa Barbara County, and no member of the legal community can properly handle this case due to Tommy Gong’s connection to this theft. Dan Dow can recuse himself and his office.


Sherry Gong’s story is not credible, and the date she said the family emergency came up is AFTER her first embezzlement, so her storyline is BS. Lying about her reasons for taking the money should disqualify Sherry Gong from any leniency at sentencing. My best estimate is that Mrs. Gong is either addicted to gambling or addicted to drugs.


Let’s keep in mind that these are three FELONY charges, and probation should not be offered.


Tommy Gong should be recalled from office, he is protecting a lying wife.


LAWMAN1

Tommy Gong

County Clerk-Recorder (2017)

Regular pay: $148,712.20

Overtime pay: $0.00

Other pay: $5,400.00

Total pay: $154,112.20

Benefits: $73,651.34

Total pay & benefits: $227,763.54


copperhead

Sorry distressed family member but Tommy and I don’t have the money. Oh wait, I can steal it from the good families of Atascadero who support their kids extra curricular activities. Come on.


aye-caramba

What a tragedy. I contend we really don’t have the whole story. Did she willingly come forward ? If that’s the case , restitution and probation. But jail time is likely NOT in the future here I suspect . Peace and privacy to the Gong Family . Can’t imagine how difficult this is . Bottom line “… thou shall not steal “ is an ancient commandment… break it at your peril .


Rambunctious

If you did it you would go to prison….whether you willingly came forward or not…we must stop treating family of the elected class like they are special people….she is not above the law…..LOCK HER UP!!!!!


Paso_citizen

What is this world coming to – when you can’t live on a base salary of $151,253 per year – not counting all the bennies. Now we can have sympathy and understand why our ‘poor’ government officials are so underpaid. NOT!

Actually. a blind person in a dark room could see through her sad explanation of her crime; but knowing how things get done in this county – 2 to 1 odds, she gets off with a small slap on the wrist.

While any of us other hard-working citizens that make a hell-of-a-lot less would be guaranteed of some serious prison time. Must be nice to have power- Go, Tommy, go. We will again see the true Dan Dow as this crime gets swept under the rug.