The former San Mateo County deputy public administrator convicted of stealing from the assets of the deceased was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison.
Federal prosecutors sought 121 months of prison for Peter Wong, 45, of Daly City, but he instead received 33 months of custody followed by three years of supervised release and a $300 special assessment, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Wong will also be ordered to pay restitution in an amount to be determined but up to $529,000 at a May 21 hearing. He remains free from custody pending an appeal.
A jury convicted Wong in November of three counts of theft from the estates he was charged with administering. The convictions stem from two cashier’s checks totaling more than $210,000 and a $10,000 bond found in his possession although authorities argued he also stole personal property.
Another county employee, Mandy Yagi, of San Mateo, was also arrested in June 2012 and charged with similar crimes but she was not convicted. The jury also cleared Wong of theft concerning a federally funded program, conspiracy to commit theft from a federally funded program and forfeiture.
The Health System uncovered the pair’s alleged crimes shortly after taking over the Public Administrator division from the District Attorney’s Office. The Public Administrator handles the estate of people without wills or designated administrators, making burial arrangements, liquidating assets, paying bills and locating heirs.
At the time of arrest, authorities alleged Wong and Yagi stole thousands of dollars and property from several estates in a private file box between March 2009 and December 2011. Once the investigation started, Wong resigned in November 2011 followed by Yagi the next month.