Ex-symphony director accused of embezzling

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Updated: 3/06 9:37 pm

LOS ALTOS, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say the former executive director of the Peninsula Symphony Association has been charged with embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Stephen Jay Carlton was arraigned last week in Santa Clara County Superior Court on charges of grand theft, embezzlement, forgery, identity theft and tax evasion.

The 45-year-old Carlton of Novato is accused of forging the signatures of board members on checks and taking out an unauthorized $25,000 loan in the Los Altos-based symphony's name.

Carlton allegedly took money from two symphony endowments worth a combined $422,000 that dwindled to just $770. The 65-year-old symphony was nearly forced to shut down but saved thanks to donations.

Carlton's lawyer John Cahners declined to comment.

Carlton faces up to 18 years in prison if convicted. He is being held in jail on $350,000 bail.

He's due back in court on April 8.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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