Man who stole $1M from Seattle utility gets 7 1/2 years

SEATTLE — A former engineer for Seattle Public Utilities has been sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison for embezzling more than $1 million.

Joseph Phan was sentenced Friday.

He earlier pleaded guilty to 67 counts of first-degree theft for depositing checks made out to the utility into his personal account. Prosecutors said that he used the money to purchase houses, rental properties and undeveloped lots.

The Seattle Times reported the 47-year-old Phan sobbed and apologized during his sentencing hearing.

He was fired after a 2010 audit of the utility’s financial controls.

Prosecutors said Phan has made restitution for about half of what he stole. SPU chief Ray Hoffman told the court that the city’s insurance company made good on the other half so the city has been fully reimbursed financially.

The agency has changed procedures for invoicing and payments.


Information from The Seattle Times is included in this report.


Information from: The Seattle Times,

More in Local News

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

This week’s Herald Super Kid is Nathan Nicholson of Snohomish High School. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
‘The future is biotech,’ but for now he’s busy with everything

Snohomish senior Nathan Nicholson is a student leader and media master.

Longboarders from near and far hit the trail in Arlington

The Centennial Sk8 Festival was serious competition for some and just for fun for others.

Council passes six-month moratorium on safe injection sites

Proposal by County Councilman Nate Nehring passed unanimously.

Terrace woman held following collision in Everett

The three occupants in vehicle were transported to a local hospital in serious condition.

Information sought on drive-by shooting in Everett

Debris from an apparent crash, evidence of gunfire found in the 2800 block of California Street.

Crews recover body of man who fell over Wallace Falls

The area where the man fell is called Sky Valley Lookout, 2.4 miles from the parking lot.

Big fire destroys building on Broadway in Everett

A person was rescued, but there were no immediate reports of injuries.

Luring attempt reported in Mountlake Terrace

The driver allegedly instructed a boy to get in the truck and help grab a scooter he was giving away.

Most Read