Lawrence Allen Edwards, 45, of Idyllwild was charged with embezzlement in a felony complaint filed by the Riverside County District Attorney’s office on Sept. 15, 2014.
The complaint alleges that from about January 2013 through March 2014, while in the employ of Mountain Quilters of Idyllwild, he willfully and unlawfully appropriated money to his own use in an amount exceeding $400.
Lead Investigator Steven Grassel of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office indicated in his sworn affidavit that an audit showed Edwards, as treasurer of the Mountain Quilters, had taken more than $4,900 in 24 checks written to himself on the quilters’ account. Grassel’s affidavit states Edwards indicated in an interview that he did not realize he had taken that much money.
The affidavit also notes that Edwards had paid back some $2,700 to the group in three separate checks.
According to the affidavit, Grassel asked Edwards “if he knew it was wrong to steal from the group and he said he knew it was wrong.” Grassel also asked him why he stole money from the group, and Edwards gave him two reasons: because of prejudice against him by persons who did not want a gay man in their group, and because he was running short on money and used it to supplement his income.
On Oct. 14, Edwards signed an “Agreement for Own Recognizance Release” promising to appear in court as ordered and agreeing to other conditions. He is pleading not guilty. His matter currently is set for a Felony Settlement Conference at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 16, in Department S204 at the court house in Murrieta.