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Criminal Corner

Laguna Beach Man Gets Jail for Fraud, Grand Theft, and State Income Tax Evasion

Former El Dorado Hills resident Richard R. Betchley, 62, was sentenced to one year in county jail, three years formal probation, and ordered to pay $250,000 in victim restitution according to us.

Last December, Betchley pleaded guilty to three felony counts of state tax evasion, grand theft, and securities fraud, and admitted an aggravated white-collar crime enhancement for theft of $750,000. He was arrested in 2009 on various charges relating to real estate fraud, mortgage fraud, securities fraud, grand theft, and state income tax evasion. With the consent and agreement of Betchley’s victims, the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office agreed to less jail time due to Betchley’s payment of $200,000 in victim restitution prior to sentencing and an additional $50,000 to us for our investigation costs.

According to our special agents, Betchley was the chief executive officer of several corporations and engaged in ongoing fraudulent conduct, whereby over the last several years he unlawfully and fraudulently obtained hundreds of thousands of dollars, and committed felony grand theft relating to real estate fraud and securities violations. In addition, Betchley failed to file his 2005 through 2008 personal and corporate state income tax returns.  

The sentence was handed down by El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Daniel B. Proud. El Dorado County Deputy District Attorney James Clinchard prosecuted the case. This was a joint investigation between the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office, the California Department of Corporations, and us.

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