Former state DOJ employee takes plea in embezzlement case  



One of two suspects accused of using positions with the state’s Department of Justice to embezzle funds pleaded no contest to a theft charge and agreed to testify, a spokeswoman for District Attorney George Gascón said Thursday. 

In January 2023, Gascón announced several charges against Eric Bunde and James Biscailuz, who were both special agents in charge with the California DOJ. 

Bunde was the director of the Los Angeles Regional Criminal Information Clearinghouse, also known as LA CLEAR, an interagency task force for law enforcement officers investigating drug-related crimes, when he embezzled public funds back in 2017, according to a “factual-basis plea” he made Jan. 19. 

The business locations in the scheme described by prosecutors were previously registered to the same Santa Clarita Valley eat

Biscailuz has not taken a plea and is expected back in court next month, according to the District Attorney’s Office and L.A. County Superior Court records available online. 

As part of a deal he made with prosecutors, Bunde admitted his crime, pleaded to one count of penal code section 487(b)(3), grand theft from an employer, and agreed to testify, in exchange for two years of formal probation and 36 days of community service. 

In a statement submitted to the court, which was shared by the DA’s office, Bunde detailed his role in the crimes alleged by Gascón last year.  

“I, Eric Bunde … through the aiding and abetting of James Biscailuz, a California Department of Justice special agent in charge and owner of Tactical Force Gear, unlawfully appropriated public funds when I ordered staff, namely Brenton Chinn, to contract with Tactical Force Gear, an embroidery company, for social media services,” according to Bunde’s statement. “TFG then subcontracted the social media services to EJB Consulting, owned by me, in effect making TFG a pass-through for EJB Consulting. This pass-through was a conflict of interest for me because I, as director of LA CLEAR, ordered a contract whereby I would get paid through EJB Consulting. The contract resulted in LA CLEAR paying $12,500 to TFG who in turn paid EJB Consulting $12,500.” 

Biscailuz was aware of the phony nature of the contracts, Bunde’s sworn statement continued. 

“At all times, James Biscailuz knew TFG was acting as a pass-through between LA CLEAR and EJB Consulting. EJB Consulting had previously had James Biscailuz as its agent of service. EJB Consulting shared the same business address as TFG and James Biscailuz’s other company, Global Protective Services. James Biscailuz had also employed me for services through GPS, during this same time period.” 

The complaint states that after taking over LA CLEAR, DOJ Special Agent in Charge Brian Rose began a review of LA CLEAR financial records and discovered that from Jan. 8, 2014, to Nov. 13, 2017, Bunde had authorized purchases of $73,687 in merchandise from TFG, according to the original criminal complaint. 

Biscailuz is due back in Department 50 of Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center on March 26 for a preliminary hearing. 

Related To This Story

Latest NEWS