Ex-Seattle utilities employee accused of $1M theft

SEATTLE — Police say a man who worked for Seattle Public Utilities siphoned more than $1 million in water main extension funds into his private bank account.

The theft was discovered during an investigation of employees who were crediting their own utility accounts.

The 44-year-old man, Chau Phan, was fired a year ago and arrested Thursday. A bail hearing was scheduled Friday afternoon at the King County Jail.

Investigators say the money was taken over five years and used by Phan for personal expenses.

Seattle Public Utilities says it has better controls now on accounts. It’s seeking to recover lost money from insurance.

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