Hard time doled out for theft of nearly $1 million

A man convicted of embezzling almost $1 million from the South San Francisco concrete company where he worked for 24 years was sentenced Friday to five years in state prison.

San Mateo Superior Court Judge Craig Parsons also ordered 47-year-old Steven Steffani to pay $1.2 million in restitution to Central Concrete Supply Co., which covers the $833,000 prosecutors say he embezzled from 2000 to 2003, plus interest. Steffani will also pay $88,524.52 to the state Franchise Tax Board.

On March 14, Steffani pleaded no contest to one count of felony embezzlement with a special enhancement for taking more than $5,000, and one count of tax evasion. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors agreed to seek no more than five years in prison.

Steffani, who worked as the supervisor of the truck maintenance department, used a dummy company to bill Central Concrete for parts and services never received, sold used parts as new and enlisted two accomplices to invent sales to the company that never occurred, according to prosecutors. The felony tax evasion charges were filed because Steffani never reported his profits to the government.

When authorities searched Steffani’s home in connection with the case, they discovered an illegal machine gun and a silencer. Steffani completed his nearly yearlong sentence on the federal weapons charges last week.

On Friday, defense attorney David Packard urged Parsons to count the year behind bars toward Steffani’s five-year sentence. But Deputy District Attorney Elaine Tipton disagreed, pointing out if not for the plea deal, Steffani would be facing eight years in prison.

Also, if not for two anonymous calls to Central Concrete, Steffani would likely still be embezzling from his bosses, she said.

“Their reward for trusting him is him ripping them off,” Tipton said.

Parsons agreed not to give Steffani credit for time served, citing Steffani’s long-standing pattern of embezzlement.

A civil lawsuit filed by Steffani’s former employers is also pending, said attorney Dek Ketchum, who represents Central Concrete.

Ketchum told Parsons that Steffani violated a court order by liquidating his assets and hiding $573,000 so it could not be seized in the civil suit.

Tipton said Steffani has never taken responsibility for the theft, telling a probation officer that his employer pointed the finger at him because he didn’t do his job right.

tbarak@examiner.com  

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SF moves into purple tier, triggering curfew and business shutdowns

San Francisco moved into the state’s purple COVID-19 tier Saturday, requiring The… Continue reading

San Francisco lacks housing data that would let it track rental vacancies and prices. New legislation is seeking to change that.<ins> (Photo by Joel Angel Jurez/2016 Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Landlords blast proposal to require annual report on rentals as invasion of privacy

Housing inventory could give city better data on housing vacancies, affordability

University of San Francisco head coach Todd Golden coaches his team on defense during a 2019 gameat War Memorial Gymnasium on the campus of the University of San Francisco. (Ryan Gorcey / S.F. Examiner)
Stunner in Bubbleville: USF upsets fourth-ranked Virginia

Less than 48 hours removed from a loss to a feeble UMass… Continue reading

Health care workers would be the first group in the state to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. (Go Nakamura/Getty Images/TNS)
Hope on the way: Here’s what to know about California’s COVID-19 vaccine plan

The first batch of doses could hit the state as soon as early December

The Big Game was played Friday at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley. (Shutterstock)
Stanford blocks extra point to stun Cal, win 123rd Big Game 24-23

The 123rd edition of the Big Game featured a number of firsts.… Continue reading

Most Read