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Finance business owner pleads guilty

She embezzled money that cities were to use for low-income housing projects.

July 14, 2010

A former Huntington Beach-based business owner pleaded guilty Monday to embezzling almost $4 million meant to bring low-income housing up to code, according to news reports.

Belinda Exon, 55, of Phoenix, Ariz., pleaded guilty to embezzling $3.9 million from September 2002 to October 2008 to U.S. District Court Judge Otis D. Wright II in Los Angeles, according to KPCC. The charge holds a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.

While living in Fontana, Exon started the now-defunct Rehab Financial in Huntington Beach in the 1990s, KPCC reported. The company was responsible for holding federal grants and loans in escrow for more than 20 cities, which would use the funds to upgrade low-income housing, according to KPCC.

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Seal Beach, Westminster, Buena Park, Fullerton, Pomona, San Juan Capistrano, along with several other cities outside Orange County, lost money, according to KPCC.

KPCC reported Exon used the money she embezzled to start two other companies in Nevada and buy three properties in Phoenix and several pieces of vacant land in Arizona.

Exon is expected to be sentenced Oct. 18.

—Britney Barnes

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