Sherry Gong pleads guilty embezzlement of Atascadero student club

August 21, 2019

Sherry Gong

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

In a surprise move, Sherry Gong, the wife of San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong, pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to embezzling more than $32,000 from the booster club of the Atascadero High School band. [Cal Coast Times]

Gong, the former treasurer for the booster organization, initially pleaded not guilty to three felony counts of grand theft by embezzlement. She changed her plea on Tuesday, pleading guilty to the charges without reaching any agreement with prosecutors, according to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office.

Before Gong entered the guilty plea, Judge Jacquelyn Duffy indicated she will grant probation and made no promise of how much jail time she would order Gong to serve. A defendant placed on probation for felony grand theft by embezzlement convictions can be required to serve a maximum of one year in county jail as a condition of probation.

But if the defendant were to violate the the terms of probation, the individual could be sentenced to state prison for the remainder of the maximum allowable sentence, which in Gong’s case, is four years and four months.

The criminal complaint filed by the district attorney’s office alleged 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, Gong allegedly lifted $19,000 from a second booster club bank account. Later the same day, Gong allegedly took another $9,850 from another of the club’s accounts.

Gong’s attorney, Guy Galambos, previously said in a statement his client admitted to taking funds from the booster club, though she “borrowed” the money to address a family emergency. Galambos’s account of the personal use of booster club funds did not match the time of the embezzlement allegations in the criminal complaint.

Gong tried to recoup the money by borrowing from extended family members and selling some of her jewelry, her attorney said. Gong admitted her actions in an interview with Atascadero police detectives and presented replacement funds in the form of a cashier’s check.

Tommy Gong, who has supported his wife amid court proceedings, did not learn of the embezzlement case until after his wife’s interview with Atascadero police, Galambos said. Tommy Gong was never implicated in the case.

The SLO County Probation Department will now prepare a sentencing recommendation report for Duffy’s consideration. Sherry Gong’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 2 in Duffy’s courtroom.


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InTheKnowing

I was not aware that “stealing” was the same as borrowing.

Let’s see how Mr. Dow handles this one as compared to others who ‘borrowed’ money and as an afterthought, intended to return it… yeah, right!


Cmonnow

Since she “stole” money from students (on 3 occasions), the first thing is they ought to fill the court room with high school students from AHS for her sentencing. Definitely an educational field trip! Then have her speak at the high school after she gets out of county sing-sing.


womanwhohasbeenthere

Students from everywhere should be there at the sentencing. Does she have any idea how hard it is to raise funds for high school bands? How much time and work is involved? How expensive it is to buy music, get busses, buy instruments, etc.?


Although the court won’t require it, she should pay back at least DOUBLE for the band’s lost opportunities because the money wasn’t there. If she were truly sorry this would be a no-brainer. Consider it punitive damages. No jail time, just probation, pay it back no interest – sure doesn’t sound like justice to me.


Jorge Estrada

Willing to sell some of her jewelry very large red flag. Gong))))))


kayaknut

As long as Dan Dow heads the DA’s office the politically connected will never be held responsible for their crimes.


Ted R

While Bill Worrell and Charles Tenborg walk free after embezzling how much more? LyingInTrash.com


obispan

You don’t think think this was fully negotiated and spun by County department heads? N***a puh-leese, the public will NEVER know the truth. I would advise the average Joe or Jane NOT to embezzle $32,000. You will NOT receive the same consideration from Dan Dow’s office.


fhill123

Welcome to The New Gong Show!!!


Mjd

Folks,


For too long, justice in SLO County has been skewed towards the wealthy and well connected, and the idea that Sherry Gong would be sentanced merely to probation is an affront to the entire justice system, Superior Court Judge Jacquelyn Duffy has a reputation for weak on crime sentences, and the children Mrs. Gong stole from deserve more than to see her get a slap on the wrist.


As the wife of SLO County Clerk Recorder Tommy Gong, Sherry Gong travels in the same social circles as Superior Court Judge Jacquelyn Duffy, and Judge Duffy ought o recuse herself in this case. The sentancing phase of this case ought to handled by judges in SB County, who do not know Tommy Gong and family.


Justice for the well connected ought to look a lot like justice for average folks.


Speak truth to power.


Snoid

Yeah so whats new in corrupt county. She actually got a pretty harsh sentence considering John Wallace embezzled millions from the tax payers, was charged with a few felony counts and never saw bars. Just a slap on the wallet and back to business as usual. I think Gearheart is the only stool pigeon who actually saw prison in slo countys corrupt history of thievery.


CC_Marauder

This public information about a CRIMINAL cannot be ignored or provided privacy.


DON’T DO THE CRIME IF YOU CAN’T DO THE TIME (OR HANDLE THE WELL EARNED CRUSHING WEIGHT OF NEGATIVE PUBLIC OPINION)


Flood gates OPEN…