Former RCC instructor pleads guilty to felonies

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By Karissa Rivera / Staff Writer

By Karissa Rivera / Staff Writer

Ross Godfrey Clark, a former Riverside City College graphics instructor pled guilty to six of the several felonies that were uncovered in 2009.

Clark is being sentenced on Oct. 19 at 8 a.m. at the Riverside Superior Court, according to case reports.

On April 18, 2010, RCC Applied Media and Printing instructors Clark and Terry Lee Keiser were arrested and charged for committing several felonies in connection to the college.

Both colleagues were able to get up to $500,000 in school contracts.

“Clark had approval authority for the purchases made here,” Riverside Community College District Police Chief Jim Miyashiro said. “He would purchase equipment and services from his side business.”

Apple Government and Educational Systems, also known as AGES was the business that RCC funds for the Applied Technology department were being spent by Clark.

According to The Press-Enterprise, AGES is the business which Clark owned.

The college funds used to purchase the computers from Clark’s business were believed to be benefiting him, though he denied.

To avoid actions such as these, a conflict of interest is signed every year which Clark broke and is now being charged for.

In 2002 before they started the 2009 investigation, Clark decided to use the identity of a deceased partner in the business who used to run the company.

Miyashiro said that later in the year the RCC audit department held an audit, when someone conducting the audit noticed the address that they were sending the checks to for the computers was to the same address that Clark lived at.

Finally in 2009 college police did an investigation on the scheme.

Search and arrest warrants were set out once the investigators had enough evidence that showed there was criminal activity.

Clark and his colleague were arrested, bailed out, and put on administrative leave until further investigation, according to The Press-Enterprise.

“Any type of fraud like this, especially internal fraud, it’s a long drawn out progress,” Miyashiro said. “It took about six months to investigate and about another three months for the district attorney to go through all the volumes of material.”

Clark was charged with 106 counts that included conflict of interest, theft of public funds, embezzlement, and forgery, according to Miyashiro.

 At the first court hearing, Clark plead not guilty to all 106 felonies, according to case reports, then on Sept. 20 Clark finally pled guilty to six of the more serious felonies.

“When you go through the court system the courts kind of focus on reducing them and just getting down to the more serious one,” Miyashiro said. “He pled guilty to six of the felonies, which are some of the bigger felonies that we were looking for.”

Under the plea agreement, Clark could face a maximum of four years in state prison, The Press-Enterprise reported.

Some students heard about this incident last year, while others were shocked to hear this kind of news.

“Its’ expensive for students to come to school, now professors are stealing from public funds, that’s taking away from students,” RCC student Alejandro Garcia said. “It’s a good thing they were able to catch these guys.”

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