San Mateo Fire Chief Mark Ladas and his wife, Peta, are facing grand theft charges for having participated in a financial scheme to obtain almost $35,000.
The San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office reports that Fire Chief Mark Ladas of the San Mateo County’s Central County Fire Department and his wife, Peta Ladas, has allegedly been involved in grand theft in a fraudulent activity to receive almost $35,000 from tax evasion and the filing of false tax returns.
Ladas, the appointed Fire Chief since April 2013, was arrested on December 3rd, 2014. He will remain in custody on an $80,000 bond on six counts for grand theft. According to Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti two counts are for tax evasion and two are for the filing of false tax returns. While Ladas is under investigation for grand theft, Deputy Chief John Kammeyer will serve as acting chief. During the investigation Ladas will remain on paid administrative leave.
According to Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti, the arrest of Ladas occurred after the ongoing investigation of the complicated financial scheme originally conducted by Peta Ladas, his wife, who has since fled the country to escape arrest.
DDA Guidotti explained that between January 2011 and June 2013 Peta allegedly used numerous false names to open fraudulent credit cards which she then used to set up false businesses. After using the cards for false business transactions, she deposited the funds into bank accounts which were also opened using false names.
Although Peta was arrested on December 18th, 2012, she successfully posted the $10,000 bail required for her release and fled the country. Since then she has remained a fugitive, and if found will face similar charges as her husband, plus additional charges.
Between posting bail and fleeing, she stayed in a Burlingame hotel where she left a wallet with her husband’s ID as well as fake credit cards. When the maid found the wallet she immediately turned it in to the Burlingame police. The discovery of the wallet and it’s contents began the investigation into Mark Ladas’ involvement.
Investigation into the grand theft discovered almost $35,000 in fraudulent funds that had been deposited into three different bank accounts under Mark Ladas’ control. Further investigation revealed the Ladas’ 2011 and 2012 tax returns had not claimed this additional income.
If you have been accused of grand theft, or other white collar crime, you need the expert advice of a criminal defense attorney. Contact Sevens Legal, APC today for a free consultation.