Crime & Justice

Boys & Girls Club employee convicted of stealing $114,000

A former employee of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tustin pleaded guilty today after being accused of stealing over $114,000 from the organization.

According to the Orange County District Attorney's Office, Clifford Lewis Polston, the former chief professional officer for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tustin, used club funds to pay for personal vacations, as well as to pay his wife a salary for a fictitious job. Polston pleaded guilty to one felony count of grand theft and faces a maximum of four years in state prison.

Polston worked for the organization for 30 years, from 1977 to 2007. Between 2001 and 2007, Polston allegedly stole approximately $114,000 dollars. He used $33,000 of the organization's funds to pay off his personal credit cards and for other personal expenses, including vacation rentals in Hawaii, plane tickets to Vancouver and Las Vegas, and parking at Los Angeles International Airport while on a trip to Tahiti.

Polston also allegedly created a fictitious "educational consultant" job for his wife, Elsie Polston, paying her over $72,800.

In the spring of 2007, the organization's board of directors noticed suspicious financial transactions related to Polston during a routine audit. Polston resigned in 2007 after being confronted by the board of directors about their suspicions.

Polston altered the organization's policy regarding reimbursement for unused sick time shortly before resigning, without authorization from the board of directors. He changed the policy to say that unused sick time would be paid to the employee upon termination, then filed a civil lawsuit against the company for breach of contract, in part for not paying him $76,700 for accrued sick time.