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San Diego

An accountant who embezzled nearly $600,000 from Nucorp Energy while the oil and gas firm was mired in bankruptcy proceedings was sentenced Monday to a 179-day term in a halfway house.

Larry D. Corl, 45, of Poway had been treasurer of the energy company when it collapsed into bankruptcy in 1982 amid a downturn in the oil industry’s fortunes. He continued working in a similar capacity for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court trustee that assumed temporary control of the firm’s affairs while it reorganized its business.

Federal prosecutors charged that Corl diverted about $590,000 paid to Nucorp from early last year until March into a bank account he created for his own use. When officials noted the loss and confronted Corl, he confessed to the embezzlement and repaid the money with interest, said Asst. U.S. Atty. Charles Gorder.

Investigators established no motive for the embezzlement, Gorder said. During the sentencing hearing Monday, U.S. District Judge John Rhoades noted that Corl had not used the money for “wine, women or song” or to pay gambling debts--excesses that often lie behind business-related thefts.

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Corl faced a maximum punishment of five years in prison. Gorder called for a 30-month prison term, but Rhoades concurred in a probation officer’s recommendation of a term in a halfway house.


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