SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

Santa Barbara County District Attorney released the following information Thursday:

District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced today that Robert Joseph Perez, age 55, pled no contest to 7 felony charges stemming from his embezzlement of funds from the Santa Barbara County Fire Fighters Union while he was the administrator of the Union’s insurance fund from 2006 to 2013. 

Perez will be sentenced on June 19, 2014, to 3 years in state prison. Perez, a former Fire Captain with the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, who retired from the Fire Department after the Union uncovered the theft and prior to the filing of charges in this case, pled no contest to 1 count of grand theft and 6 counts of filing a false tax return for tax years 2007-2012. 

Perez also admitted a special allegation that the amount of theft exceeded $100,000.  The investigation into the thefts, conducted by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, determined the amount of theft to be approximately $124,000 over the 7 year period from 2006 to 2013.

In addition to the 3 year prison sentence, Perez will be ordered to pay full restitution to the Santa Barbara County Fire Fighters Union, as well as unpaid taxes, interest, and penalties to the California Franchise Tax Board.