Faced but was acquitted of charges in murder-for-hire plot against nine jurors while in jail
Martinez, CA – The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office announced on Wednesday that after an extensive four-year investigation, a long jury trial and a conviction by a jury of 37 separate counts relating to 19 separate incidents that occurred over a seven-year time span, Charles Waldo was finally sentenced on June 27, 2017 for his crimes. Waldo was the owner of a recycling business.
After being convicted of multiple felony counts of insurance fraud, embezzlement, grand theft, vandalism, perjury, elder abuse, illegal gun possession and arson, among other things, Judge Barry Baskin sentenced Waldo to 40 months in county jail followed by 21 years and 8 months in state prison, one of the longest sentences obtained for insurance fraud in the history of Contra Costa County. Mr. Waldo must register as a California convicted arson offender pursuant to Penal Code 457.1. He has also been ordered not to contact one of his victims and to pay $22,500 in fines.
According to a 2014 report by NBC Bay Area News, “the District Attorney’s investigation into Waldo began in the spring of 2012 when its office received information about a vehicle arson and a suspected fraudulent car insurance claim, Deputy District Attorney William Murphy said. The investigation revealed multiple fraudulent insurance claims of arson and vandalism on five cars over a five-year period beginning in July 2007 with losses from the vehicles exceeding $100,000, Peterson said. Further investigation revealed Waldo was suspected of embezzling over $100,000 from a former employer and stealing a $38,000 generator from his former employer’s business.
As the manager, Waldo reportedly ‘forced out’ other employees so he could hire his associates, and then directed the new employees to commit other crimes, including stealing recyclable metals and an electrical transformer, prosecutors said. At one point, Waldo was traveling with employees from the business when a police officer attempted to pull him over for speeding. Waldo escaped after traveling at speeds of over 100 miles per hour, Murphy said.
He also allegedly ordered the workers to help build a 2,000-square-foot addition to his Pittsburg home while they were supposed to be working for Waldo’s employer.”
Waldo was also accused by the “Investigators from the California Department of Insurance…that he committed worker’s compensation insurance fraud, along with tax code violations.”
“After his employer fired him, Waldo allegedly drove to his employer’s business, and to the homes of several employees, and punctured the tires of their cars. He also continued to claim unemployment benefits for a year even though he had found other employment.”
According to a CBS new story in 2014, Waldo was also “charged with plotting to kill nine witnesses set to testify against him.
Prosecutors say investigators found a hit list that included the witnesses’ names, in what order they were to be killed, and suggestions to kill them in car crashes, with drug overdoses and in robberies ‘gone bad.’”
However, he was later acquitted of those charges.
Multiple agencies assisted the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office with this investigation including: the CA Department of Insurance, the CA Highway Patrol, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, the National Insurance Crime Bureau, Geico Insurance Company, Progressive Insurance Company, and Hertz Equipment Rental. Allen Payton contributed to this report.