Updated: Area Man Charged with Embezzling Social Security Funds from Developmentally Disabled

Larry Gene Sark allegedly embezzled the funds while working for North Bay Regional Center, which serves about 8,000 developmentally disabled people in Sonoma, Solano and Napa counties.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.
—By Bay City News

A retired social worker was charged in Sonoma County Superior Court this afternoon with embezzling money intended for his developmentally disabled clients.

Larry Gene Sark, 66, a former client program coordinator at the North Bay Regional Center in Santa Rosa, did not enter a plea to the charges. His next court date is March 5.

Defense attorney Izaak Schwaiger said the complaint alleges 35 felony counts of "embezzlement related" charges of forgery, fraud, and theft against elder dependant adults since 2006. Sark retired from the North Bay Regional Center in December 2012.

Santa Rosa police arrested Sark at his Bennett Valley home Monday. Sgt. Phil Brazis said it's believed Sark embezzled close to $400,000 from 51 clients between 20 and 70 years old.

The money was intended for clients to purchase personal and incidental items including food, clothing and other daily living needs, Brazis said.

As part of his job, Sark would request Social Security funds from the center and unbeknownst to his clients, he deposited the money in his private bank accounts, Brazis said.

Search warrants executed at Sark's home indicated he led a lavish lifestyle that included an Egyptian honeymoon, trip to a posh golf course, a trip to Las Vegas and to high-end restaurants, Brazis said.

Schwaiger said Sark worked at the North Bay Regional Center for more than 20 years.

Sark is being held in the Sonoma County jail under $500,000 bail.

The North Bay Regional Center, one of 21 in the California, serves 8,000 developmentally disabled people in Sonoma, Solano and Napa counties.

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