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Alleged identity thief arrested in Massachusetts

Campbell man to be extradited back to California to face embezzlement charges
Campbell man to be extradited back to California to face embezzlement charges

A former Campbell man arrested last month in Massachusetts will soon be extradited to California to face charges of felony embezzlement and identity theft.

According to the Patriot Ledger, a Massachusetts-based newspaper, Richard Battista has been held in the Plymouth County House of Correction without bail since his arrest June 2 in Whitman, Massachusetts on a fugitive-from-justice charge. He had been living in Quincy, Massachusetts since fleeing California prior to his arraignment back in 2009.

Battista, 62, was the head of Campbell’s Professional Culinary Institute, now known as the French Culinary Institute, when he allegedly used his position to obtain personal loans and a fraudulent lease for a Porsche, using the institute’s assets as collateral. Authorities also claim he obtained credit cards using the names of PCI employees, making several fraudulent purchases. Court documents show he bilked his institute and its employees out of $64,000 before he fled back to Massachusetts.

Battista founded the institute in 2004 and served as its president for seven years when he helped prepare young chefs for careers in the culinary industry. He also hosted a radio program on KNEW-910 in San Francisco. His arrest was the culmination of a three-year investigation into his alleged misuse of funds, the Patriot Ledger reports.

A status hearing in the case has been set for July 19 in a Brockton District Court. Court officials say it is not yet known when he will be extradited back to Santa Clara County.