Administrator admits embezzling $450K from job training program

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SAN DIEGO — A former administrator for a San Diego workforce development board funded largely by federal grants pleaded guilty Thursday to embezzling more than $450,000 from the agency.

Jared Palmer, 41, admitted to stealing the funds while employed as facilities manager for the San Diego Workforce Partnership, which provides job training and work-placement services to residents and employers.

Between 2011 and last year, Palmer, who was responsible for approving payment of invoices submitted by janitorial companies hired to clean the organization’s facilities, instructed the contractors to buy things that he claimed were for the partnership’s use, including thermostats, electronics and prepaid debit cards, court documents state.

Palmer then stole the items and replaced the invoices that included their costs with fake receipts that made it appear as if all the charges were for legitimate janitorial services, according to prosecutors.

The defendant’s guilty plea to theft of federal program funds includes a restitution addendum in which he agreed to pay back the value of his thefts.

He will face a maximum 10-year prison sentence at his arraignment, scheduled for Nov. 6.