Man arrested for $89,000 theft, defrauding school district $34,000

ST. GEORGE— A 38-year-old St. George man was arrested Thursday for allegedly defrauding the Washington County School District $34,000 and for theft from his former employer amounting to approximately $89,000.

Detectives began investigating a suspected theft and fraud case after the owner of an audio equipment supplier store discovered a former employee had allegedly been stealing from the store and conducting a side business of his own, according to a probable cause statement written by a St. George Police Detective in support of the arrest.

Dustin D. Taylor, of St. George, Utah, booking photo posted May 14, 2015 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News
Dustin D. Taylor, of St. George, Utah, booking photo posted May 14, 2015 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

The former employee, who was identified as Dustin D. Taylor, had been the manager at the audio store’s St. George location.

It was discovered that Taylor had been ordering valuable equipment for various bids and contracts but did not install the specified equipment per the contracts, according to the statement of probable cause.

In this case, the Washington County School District had contracted with Taylor for equipment installation at three different schools, the statement said. However, Taylor had inferior equipment installed at the schools.

“The loss to the school in equipment installed versus what should have been installed is estimated around $34,000.00,” the statement of probable cause said. “This was verified by an internal company investigation and physical inventory conducted at the schools.”

Some of the equipment was later found to have been installed at a different school outside of Washington County, according to the statement. It was discovered the equipment installed at the fourth school was paid for and shipped by the audio store without the consent or knowledge of the store owner.

“It appears that (Taylor) had been operating his own business on the side while employed by (the audio store),” the statement said, “and they believe their equipment was stolen and installed in other contracts for his personal benefit.”

Much of the equipment remains unaccounted for, the statement said, and the audio store has estimated a current loss of $89,000; standing to lose more as they continue to resolve the issues with the various schools and other contracts.

According to the probable cause statement, witnesses told police that during conversations with Taylor, he admitted to the alleged crimes.

During an interview with detectives, Taylor admitted he received the equipment ordered for the Washington County schools, yet installed different and inferior equipment instead, the statement said. He also admitted to having several equipment items belonging to the audio store in his possession.

Taylor was arrested and booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.

He was charged with a second-degree felony for theft of $89,000 from the audio store, and an additional second-degree felony for communications fraud of $34,000 for installing inferior equipment to what was contracted.

Taylor was released from custody on $20,000 bond. He is scheduled to make his initial court appearance on May 21.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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6 Comments

  • fun bag May 17, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    can anyone attest to whether he was worthy or not?

  • chupacabra May 18, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Good people make mistakes. None of us are immune from bad choices.

    With that said let’s hope justice is served and compensation is made.

    This will be a lesson hard learned for Dustin, but not one he will soon forget.

    • ladybugavenger May 19, 2015 at 12:27 pm

      I must have missed the part where he was a good person

      • chupacabra May 19, 2015 at 5:27 pm

        LadyBug,

        I speak from first hand experience with knowing Dustin and his family.

  • mmsandie May 18, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    That’s how he lives in a big house, …* the schoolcheck what he was installing vs. the purchase order??? I feel sorry for the school kids..
    Ed. ellipsis: …*

  • fun bag May 19, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    guy is a scum bag and a scoundrel, and this is just the tip of the iceberg of the scams he’s done to people. great guy, huh?

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