Six former employees of the Nevada Department of Transportation are accused in a tire theft ring.
On Friday, Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt announced that David Dinicola, 54, of Las Vegas; Anthony Canada, 58, of Pahrump; Steve Pappas, 55, of Las Vegas; Dale Wageman, 62, of Henderson; Richard Matters, 46, of Henderson; Benito DeSantiago, 54, of Las Vegas; and Virgilio Quezada, 41, of Las Vegas, face a total of 21 felony charges for their roles in a tire theft ring.
Six of the seven defendants were taken into custody while the seventh has retained an attorney to negotiate turning himself in.
The charges include four counts of theft in the amount of $3,500 or more, three counts of theft in the amount of $650 or more, four counts of embezzlement in the amount of $3,500 or more, three counts of embezzlement in the amount of $650 or more, five counts of possession of stolen property, one count of burglary and one count of multiple transactions involving fraud or deceit in the course of enterprise or occupation. The alleged frauds were committed between December 2014 and April 2015.
According to the complaint, during his employment at the Department of Transportation, Canada used a State of Nevada credit card to make unlawful purchases of new tires. Canada would then, along with Pappas, Dinicola and Wageman who at the time were also employees of the Department of Transportation, submit false work orders or labor hours to justify the purchases. The complaint further alleges that DeSantiago, Quezada and Matters illegally took possession of these fraudulently-obtained tires.
This case was investigated and is being prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Financial Fraud and Public Integrity Units. None of the defendants is currently employed by the State of Nevada.