UPDATE: Ex-Stallion Springs police officer, wife plead no contest to grand theft

Crime Watch

UPDATE (4/23): James Best and his wife each pleaded no contest Friday to a charge of grand theft. They’re set to be sentenced May 21.

The plea stipulates felony probation and restitution of $1,764.92.

STALLION SPRINGS, Calif. (KGET) — A former Stallion Springs police officer and his wife are accused of embezzling funds from the department’s Police Activities League. The two are alleged to have stolen a total of $1,764.92.

James Best Jr. 50, and Jennifer Best, 49, are each charged with multiple counts of grand theft and misappropriation of public funds. James Best resigned from the department in September 2019 and turned in his equipment, including a computer the contents of which were later copied onto an external hard drive, investigators said in court documents.

From early 2017 to Aug. 1, 2019, purchases were made through Amazon, utilities and subscriptions to clothing companies using the accounts associated with the league, according to the documents. Items allegedly purchased with league funds include Attraco hipster underwear for women, a black velvet gothic choker necklace, Echo Dot Smart Speaker with Alexa and Colace 2-in-1 Stool Softener and Stimulant Laxative Tablets.

The documents say the Bests have moved from Stallion Springs and were planning to move to Maine.

The Bests have pleaded not guilty and have a court hearing scheduled April 12.

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