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Embezzler gets prison time

By From page A8 | July 11, 2012

An embezzler formerly of El Dorado Hills was sentenced to five years and 10 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Edward J. Garcia on Friday afternoon.

Thomas Tanke, 68, will also face five years supervised release and will pay $243,403 in restitution, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced in a press release. Tanke was found guilty by a jury in November of last year of two counts of mail fraud and five counts of bank fraud for embezzling funds from his employer.

Tanke, according to court documents, was vice president of Azteca Construction Inc. from July 1999 until he resigned in July 2004.  He oversaw the East Coast division of the company as well as working in construction management for California projects from his Rancho Cordova office. That construction was mostly done with equipment and trucks leased from Construction Equipment Rental and Services.

Both Azteca and CERS were defrauded by Tanke, who used a “variety of means,” according to the press release. He deposited checks meant for the companies into his own accounts, used Azteca accounts and credit cards for his personal use and used false invoices to cover the expenses, resulting in over $243,000 of embezzled money.

Tanke also gave false testimony to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and the U.S. District Court over his conduct, the press release stated. He also concealed a fraud charge from 1981 from an employer after leaving Azteca, as well as “falsifying his education credentials.”

Tanke, the press release states, has been in custody since the guilty verdict. The judge, during sentencing said, “Garcia observed that Tanke committed perjury at trial by offering incredible testimony, which was one reason why it took the jury only a few hours to convict him.”

The case was investigated by the FBI and Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office. U.S. attorneys S. Robert Tice-Raskin and Russell L. Carlberg prosecuted the case.

Cole Mayer

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