Former Lobbyist Charged in Embezzlement Scheme

Rob Katherman, 68 and his wife Marilyn Katherman, 65 were both charged with felony counts of misappropriation of public funds. Rob Katherman worked as a lobbyist for Los Angeles City Councilman Curren Price but has since resigned.

Authorities allege that the Kathermans illegally sent money from a nonprofit organization in Torrance to cover personal expenses for Ronald Smith, a member of the board of West Basin Municipal Water District. Smith, has also been charged with one county of financial conflict of interest, two counts of misappropriation of public funds and four counts of perjury. Smith has pleaded not guilty to all counts.

In total, authorities allege the Kathermans funneled about $20,000 to Smith by way of writing checks on behalf of his children for tuition, tennis lessons and dance classes. In addition, checks sent by the Kathermans also covered rent and repairs to Smiths boat.

If convicted, the Kathermans face up 4 years in state prison.

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