Los Altos man faces three years for pilfering San Bruno blast benefits 

A Los Altos man could spend three years in state prison for cashing in on the deadly San Bruno pipeline explosion.

Daniel Leon Stansbury, 41, lied about being a resident of the disaster area in order to milk financial aid and other benefits meant for victims. He is one of seven people accused of pulling off the heartless scam.

The San Bruno explosion and fire killed eight people and destroyed dozens of homes in the city’s Crestmoor neighborhood on Sept. 9.

Stansbury pleaded no contest Tuesday to four felony counts including burglary, identity theft and grand theft.

He may have been the greediest con, authorities said. He went twice to the disaster aid center, listing two separate San Bruno addresses on his applications. In those trips, he netted two $1,000 gift cards from Pacific Gas & Electric Co., which owns the pipes that exploded.

He also got a 13-day stay at two hotels and a rental car for the entire period, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Stansbury was arrested Sept. 23 after aid center officials discovered the fraud. Police detained him in his San Jose hotel room. In the room, cops found $5,900 in cash and “loads of computer printouts showing San Bruno addresses in the disaster zone,” Wagstaffe said.

They also found application forms for disaster aid, he said.

At the time of his arrest, Stansbury was already dealing with a misdemeanor theft charge from January last year. He appeared in court on that case at the same time as he enjoyed his disaster aid, Wagstaffe said.

Stansbury is scheduled to be sentenced on March 22. He remains in custody on $100,000 bail.


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