By Joe Nelson
Created: 03/03/2011 02:17:33 PM PST

Eight people, including two former employees of San Bernardino County’s Transitional Assistance Department, have been indicted on suspicion of stealing more than $500,000 of taxpayer money intended for needy families.

In two separate cases, a special Grand Jury handed down indictments on Feb. 14 and Feb. 25, according to a news release issued by the District Attorney’s Office.

The Feb. 14 indictment charged former Apple Valley resident Arlene Spinuzzi, 56, Sarah Debar Parks, 22, Gerald Zibell, 81, and Michael Debar, 56, with a total of 90 felony counts of grand theft and misappropriation of public funds. Parks is Spinuzzi’s daughter, Zibell is Spinuzzi’s father and Debar is Spinuzzi’s husband.

Spinuzzi is a former eligibility worker for the county’s child care program. She is accused of authorizing payment for child care services she claimed were being performed by her family, but were never provided to needy families.

The thefts occurred over a 7-year period and involved more than 1,000 transactions in excess of $415,000.

Spinuzzi was arrested in Nevada and subsequently booked into the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, where she is being held in lieu of $2.25 million bail. Zibell was arrested in Victorville and is being held in lieu of $600,000 bail. Parks was arrested in Hawaii and is being held there in lieu of $250,000 bail. She awaits extradition to California. Debar is a fugitive, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Feb. 25 indictment charged 51-year-old Fontana resident Lynda Miles Holman, husband Jewel Holman, 51, son Justin Holman, 25, and Howard Turner Jr., 45, with a total of 107 felony counts of grand theft, misappropriation of public funds, embezzlement and identity theft in connection with the theft of food stamps and cash aid funds from the county welfare system.

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