On any given day on the job as Compton's deputy treasurer, Salvador Galvan quietly lopped between $200 and $8,000 off the top of municipal fees he collected for the California city, prosecutors say, per the Los Angeles Times. He wasn't busted until December, after a co-worker saw something amiss in a ledger, and after Galvan had accrued more than $3.7 million, they add. The 47-year-old—who'd worked for the city treasurer's office for more than 20 years, taking in cash payments from locals paying utility bills, parking tickets, and other fees—started out small and grew his take exponentially over the next six years, the criminal complaint lays out: An audit shows his first alleged skim in 2010 brought him just $1,400, but in 2012 he netted nearly $400,000 by year's end, with that figure jumping to almost $720,000 for 2013. In 2015, a staggering $879,536 vanished, court records show.
Galvan's now-ex-colleagues were often puzzled by what a DOJ release describes as "unexplained affluence" on his $60,000-per-year salary, including driving a fancy Audi sedan and splurging on office parties. He allegedly would write out correct receipts for the cash he collected, but then fudge the numbers on deposit slips; a co-worker noticed a $7,000 mismatch late last year, and Galvan was arrested in December by the LA County Sheriff's Department. He was freed on bond, but FBI agents arrested him again Wednesday on federal theft charges. The case has demoralized some residents hard at work trying to keep Compton's history of crime and corruption in the past. One local activist says he's "disappointed," asking what processes have been implemented to make sure something like this doesn't happen again. (A Canadian mint worker smuggled lots of gold out—in his butt.)