SAN DIEGO (CNS) - An Escondido financial planner who raided trusts created for his clients was ordered Tuesday to repay $1.1 million and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Steven James Galliher, 60, was sentenced by Judge William Kronberger in two cases that involved six victims.
When Galliher was first charged in February 2009, only one victim was known, but authorities turned up others, Deputy District Attorney Paul Greenwood said.
"Several victims didn't even know they were victims, they had no clue," Greenwood said.
Galliher set up trust accounts, including life insurance policies, and named himself the trustee, according to the prosecutor. Galliher borrowed $25,000 to $35,000 against the policies without the knowledge of his clients to help fund a side business in hands-free cellular telephones that "never quite got off the ground," Greenwood said.
Galliher went to trial in March and was found guilty of seven counts of grand theft from a trust and theft from elders. He later pleaded guilty to a grand theft from a trust in the other case, Greenwood said.
The judge ordered restitution of more than $1.1 million to five victims in the first case, and over $352,000 in the second.
A transient was behind bars Tuesday on suspicion of fatally stabbing two other homeless men last week at an Otay Mesa strip mall.
San Diego County emergency and fire officials are urging residents to protect homes against devastating wildfires as fire season kicks into full gear.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Tuesday to celebrate the opening of a joint-use park at McKinley Elementary.
A vote is expected Tuesday as the Del Mar Fair Board considers transforming the Surf Side Race Place into a new indoor entertainment venue.
The San Diego City Council Tuesday formally approved a $225,000 settlement in litigation brought by a deputy city attorney, who alleged sexual harassment by her former supervisor.
The Gate Fire, which has burned about 2,056 acres northwest of Dulzura, was 95 percent contained Monday. Cal Fire also reported that all evacuation orders and warnings were lifted in the fire area.
The Gate Fire northwest of Dulzura has been fully contained. Cal Fire says its crews will remain on scene Tuesday mopping up and guarding against flareups.
The North County Transit District (NCTD) has voted to lay off its enforcement officers that patrol local train and bus stations.