Kent Maloney was taken into custody Jan. 28 for a two-year prison term. He had embezzled $200,000 from the Lions Education Foundation over seven years.
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Until this crime came to light, Maloney had a sterling reputation in the community. A certified public accountant, he had originally been in partnership with the late C.S. Nicholas, then went out on his own.
In Lions International he was a former district governor and then achieved an even higher office.
Maloney was a longtime and respected member of the Mother Lode Lions Club and a past president. The club was astounded to learn of the embezzlement charge.
“The crime of embezzlement, taking money that you are trusted with, is bad enough, but when you steal donated funds that are allocated to youth and education in our community, it is especially appalling,” said District Attorney Vern Pierson.
The probation report recommended 180 days, but since Maloney failed to come up with a plan to repay the money, the judge gave him a middle sentence of two years when the maximum would have been three years.
We are disappointed Maloney failed to come up with a restitution plan. We have to assume the magnitude of his crime weighed on him and clouded his thought processes. He still could have done tax returns with or without the CPA certificate. A recent court decision said the IRS cannot license and regulate tax preparers.
We are also disappointed he did not appear at a club meeting to personally apologize.
Recognizing the crime to which he admitted guilt in court, we still question the prison term. We question it only because this was not a crime of violence. We question it because the state prison system is under a court order to reduce its prison population. For this reason we believe Maloney and other embezzlers should be sentenced to county jail rather than prison. In Maloney’s case, weekends in jail and weekdays earning money for restitution would have served both justice and the community. Weekends on the sheriff’s work crew would have been more rehabilitative and healthy than sitting in prison watching TV and reading novels.
As it stands, the case of Kent Maloney is a sad affair.
We’ll conclude with a final quote from the DA: “I would encourage anyone wishing to donate to the Lions Education Foundation or to obtain more information about the foundation or any upcoming fundraisers to visit their Website at lefc5.com.”