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TMCNet:  Watsonville police arrest Live Oak man on suspicion of theft, embezzlement [Santa Cruz Sentinel, Calif.]

[November 28, 2012]

Watsonville police arrest Live Oak man on suspicion of theft, embezzlement [Santa Cruz Sentinel, Calif.]

(Santa Cruz Sentinel (CA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Nov. 29--WATSONVILLE -- A Live Oak man is accused of stealing more than $500,000 through his payroll processing company, Watsonville police said.

Jason Matthew Haas, 34, was arrested last week at his home on suspicion of grand theft, Lt. David McCartney said. Watsonville police detectives served a search warrant and made the arrest after a month-long investigation into reports of embezzlement and theft.

Police began investigating allegations against Haas, who does business as Payroll Management Group, after Royal Coach Tours claimed he stole money while processing payroll from March 22 to Sept. 7.

Officials with Royal Coach Tours of San Jose claimed Haas didn't pay the payroll taxes and pocketed the money, Watsonville Sgt. Saul Gonzalez said last month.

Watsonville police got involved because Haas formerly had an office there.

The investigation determined that Haas had access to the company's bank account. Officers alleged that Haas used his payroll software to convert Royal Coach payroll tax funds into checks made out to the Payroll Management Group. He's believed to have taken $567,654 that should have been paid to the state and the IRS.

Haas has a pending case with the Santa Cruz District Attorney's Office in which he is accused of embezzling about $30,000 from A Bite of Wyoming, a restaurant in San Jose.

Prosecutor Rebekah Young said the criminal complaint against Haas has been amended to include both the A Bite of Wyoming and Royal Coach Tours cases. He's scheduled to be arraigned on multiple charges Friday.

According to the Watsonville Police Department, there also are pending investigations on Haas in Santa Clara County, San Benito County and Troy, Mich.

Watsonville police ask anyone with information on the case to call 768-3358 or the anonymous tipline at 768-3544.

Follow Sentinel reporter Jessica M. Pasko on Twitter at ___ (c)2012 the Santa Cruz Sentinel (Scotts Valley, Calif.) Visit the Santa Cruz Sentinel (Scotts Valley, Calif.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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