SACRAMENTO - A gay media advocate in Sacramento is being accused of embezzling more than $1 million from the not-for-profit groups he was supposed to be overseeing.
A lawsuit filed in Sacramento Superior Court claims Kevin Manz maneuvered himself to steal money from a foundation that runs retirement care facilities. He allegedly used the money for himself, his friends and his media group, Pride Media - a multi-media company that promotes gay issues and events.
The 17 page civil complaint accuses Manz of stealing from several entities. The groups run "Pioneer House" retirement home at 4th & P Street in Sacramento.
According to the lawsuit, shortly after Manz was elected president of the boards around 2005, he started embezzling from the group. Over a period of years, they say he stole more than $1.3 million.
The complaint says he opened up a secret investment account to put money in through the years, including money from the sale of "Trinity House retirement home," which used to operate on 27th and Capitol until the property was sold.
According to the suit, Manz "brazenly stole funds from the accounts for his own pecuniary gain and the pecuniary gain of his friends," as well as for his media group.
Manz is also accused of putting pressure on management at Pioneer House retirement home to hire and pay his friends to perform services – such as landscaping and interior design – that weren't authorized and were paid at inflated rates.
When made aware of the fraud charges, Manz did not deny he had stolen funds and has since then made a series of payments to reimburse them. A check for $92,000 he sent the group last year bounced, but he has paid back about $300,000. However, he still owes more than $900,000, according to the complaint.
The doors to the media company he runs, Pride Media were locked as of Monday. The tenants they share the building with said they were informed Pride Media was suspending its operations indefinitely and would not be renewing its lease.