Ex-officer offered deal in alleged scam case 

Prosecutors have offered a plea deal to a former San Francisco police officer and two accomplices accused of bilking a Colma Home Depot out of $62,718 over six months.

San Mateo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe confirmed that a deal was on the table for former police officer Ilya Zlobinsky, 35, and alleged accomplices Arkady Zlobinsky, 39, and Anibal Ramirez, 22. Wagstaffe declined to reveal details of the plea agreement offered to the three men, who appeared in a Redwood City courtroom Monday.

Prosecutors say Ilya Zlobinsky had already been fired from his SFPD job when the trio allegedly worked with a teenage cashier throughout six months in 2005 to steal merchandise from the home-improvement retailer. The teenage girl is accused of fraudulently changing register entries to reflect voided purchases and charge accounts that did not exist while letting the suspects walk out with items, authorities said.

"It was a large and relatively sophisticated theft ring," Wagstaffe said.

The alleged scam ended when someone suspected the teenager of stealing and Colma police reviewed extensive security footage from the store, he said.

The girl was charged in juvenile court while an arrest warrant was issued for the three San Bruno men. The trio was arrested in July of last year outside the county and remain free on $10,000 bail each.

All are charged with felony grand theft. Ramirez and Arkady Zlobinsky face an additional six counts of felony burglary while Ilya Zlobinsky faces an additional five counts of felony burglary. If they do not accept the plea deal, Arkady Zlobinsky and Ramirez could serve up to seven years in prison, while Ilya Zlobinsky faces five and a half years behind bars.

A jury trial for the three men is scheduled for Oct. 6. Both Zlobinskys have hired high-profile defense attorney Michael Cardoza, who represented the family of tiger-attack victim Carlos Souza Jr. as well as Sharon Smith, the partner of San Francisco dog-mauling victim Dianne Whipple.

tbarak@examiner.com

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