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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nunsense

Sounds like she fell for a scam


Niles Q

It does sound like a scam. The old grandson-is-in-trouble send-money-now scam.


horse_soldier

Twice, and months apart? No one is that dumb.


ml1999

How much were the ‘replacement checks’?


Cmonnow

I’m sorry, I’m confused…is it Grand Theft by Embezzlement or a loan for a family emergency?? Or maybe it’s that new kind of crime/embezzlement that’s ok because it’s a family emergency… Mr Galambos sounds like a perfect candidate for the California legislature.


horse_soldier

Mrs. Gong “borrows” the money incrementally over 8 months for a life or death emergency…and never discussed the matter with her husband? Exactly when was she planning to repay the “loan”? This family has more to be concerned about than her illegal activity.


sbjcl

How do expect them to make it on meager $20,000.00 a month income??


Rambunctious

If she is treated any differently than we would be we all should go on a state tax strike….


SLOcal local

Not buying the emergency loan excuse concocted by Gong and her attorney. She did a test withdrawal on July 5, 2017 for about $3k. After it went unnoticed and she thought she got away with it, she made two larger withdrawals in April 2018. How does her “emergency loan” excuse explain the first withdrawal in 2017?


m2457

I agree! How does the emergency in April of 2018 explain the withdrawal in July of 2017??


ByteMaker


ByteMaker

Her husband makes $235,907.86 a year and she needed $32,000 for an emergency? Just watch, he will make restitution and this thing will go away. Crime does pay if you have the resources to pay.


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