S. Lake hockey captain arrested for theft
Chris James Perry, a program director and city employee at the South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena, was arrested at his work Friday on one count of grand theft.
He was booked into El Dorado County Jail on $10,000 bail.
Officials from the Department of Insurance and El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office investigated the case before a warrant was issued for Perry’s arrest at the end of February.
Perry is also under investigation by the American Collegiate Hockey Association in connection with eligibility issues on the Sacramento State ice hockey team, which was disbanded last month. Perry is the acting president and captain of the team. The ACHA investigation is expected to be concluded within two weeks.
Authorities said Perry filed full disability claims after a sports injury in New York. He moved to California, got a job with South Lake Tahoe, and allegedly continued to claim full disability.
“The general charge or accusation is that he was receiving benefits from a workers’ compensation injury in New York and he didn’t disclose he had work here,” said Joe Morgan, an investigator with the district attorney’s fraud division.
A grand-theft charge constitutes more than $400. Authorities believe Perry received around $15,000 in disability benefits since he moved to California.
Morgan was notified by the Department of Insurance of the case and filed a supplemental report when he discovered new evidence, he said.
Assistant district attorney Hans Uthe said other charges couldn’t be filed since the victim, State Insurance Fund of New York, is outside California.
When Perry was hired, the city conducted a fingerprint check since he would likely be working with children. City Attorney Catherine DiCamillo said no infractions surfaced after the background checks.
“Naturally, we’re very surprised and saddened that he’s arrested,” she said.
On Friday, DiCamillo said Perry was still employed, but will be placed on administrative leave, either paid or unpaid. The city will also conduct its own investigation, DiCamillo said.
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