Farmers’ markets typically make you think of fresh fruit, crisp vegetables and a sense of community, rather than embezzlement.
Former Glendale City Councilman and Mayor John Drayman was handcuffed on Monday after he was sentenced to one year in a Los Angeles County Jail for embezzling at least $304,000 from a Montrose-based farmer’s market he helped run both before and after his tenure with the city.
Drayman pleaded guilty for embezzlement, filing a fake tax return and perjury—totally three felonies out of the original 28 indictments.
“In common parlance, you’re a crook,” remarked Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephen Marcus after berating the former public official for not displaying remorse during the proceedings.
Drayman’s plea deal includes a one-year jail sentence, a subsequent five years of probation and restitution payments of nearly $305,000 to the Montrose group he cheated.
“Our merchants in Montrose hopefully are going to get the money back, and then it could be spent the right way,” Andre Ordubegian, President of the Montrose Shopping Park Association, told CBS Los Angeles.
Drayman left the operation in 2011. The group was tipped off to the scam when the market brought in almost $141,000 when 2011 profit margin estimates were originally appropriated at $43,000.
Drayman served as Glendale’s mayor from 2008-2009 and was on the council between 2007 and 2011.
Read the full story at the Glendale News Press.