Convicted embezzler Michael A. Goins says he didn’t steal all that state auditors claim is missing from a Pasco downtown association.
Goins’ attorney told a judge Tuesday they don’t agree with the proposed restitution for his theft.
Goins was not in Franklin County Superior Court for the brief hearing but his lawyer Daniel Stovern said his client indicated the restitution amount is more than what he took.
The restitution amount could be above $200,000 and possibly as high as $270,000.
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Judge Bruce Spanner said since there was no agreement, the hearing needed to be rescheduled.
Prosecutor Shawn Sant later told the Tri-City Herald a hearing is expected Oct. 4 to give Goins and Stovern the chance to review the proposed restitution.
“Only the defendant is in a position to know exactly how much was taken,” Sant said in court.
Goins, 36, was convicted of stealing money from the Downtown Pasco Development Authority during his nearly 2 ½ years as executive director.
He used the money for personal use, including groceries, utilities at his Richland home, back child support, trips to New Jersey to visit his two kids and to buy electronics.
He was fired in December, two weeks after his arrest.
Goins already has served his one-year prison sentence, and it is unclear where he is living now.
On Monday, the Washington State Auditor’s Office released a report showing Goins took $143,242 for his personal use between August 2013 and last November.
Auditors also found $30,456 in questionable expenditures and $54,765 in penalties that have been assessed to the downtown organization because of Goins’ theft.
Investigators initially placed the embezzlement at about $90,000, but knew there was a good chance that number would go up once the association’s books and bank statements were thoroughly reviewed.
Sant said Tuesday he is working with the association to try to negotiate reducing the bank fees and IRS penalties.
However, he wants to make sure the restitution includes not only those penalties and fees, but the costs the agency incurred for a lawyer and certified public accountant to sort out the financial mess.