Los Altos man charged with blast scamBy Joshua Melvin
A Los Altos man has become the fifth person to be charged with stealing aid that was destined for the victims of the natural gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno, a prosecutor said.
Daniel Stansbury, 51, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in San Mateo County Superior Court to seven felony charges, including identity theft and falsely claiming aid, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. He was ordered held in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Wagstaffe said the man showed up at the resource center set up for fire victims the day following the Sept. 9 blast and got gift cards after he gave workers a false same and said he lived in the neighborhood gutted by the explosion. Stansbury did the same thing two days later, using a different phony name. In the two visits he got at least $2,000 in gift cards. Stansbury also got Pacific Gas and Electric Co., which operates the line that exploded, to pay for a room in the Hilton Hotel at San Francisco International Airport for nine days. He then moved him to a Hilton in San Jose for another four days. All along PG&E was covering the cost of a rental car.
Wagstaffe said he didn't have details on what lead police to arrest Stansbury. But he added that officers found a list of addresses from the Glenview neighborhood as well as forms to apply for aid in the man's hotel room. He also had $5,900 in cash.
Deonte Bennett of San Leandro and Niesha Taylor of Fairfield, both 25, as well as Lisa Justin, 42, and Sonya Smith, 44, both of San Bruno, have already been charged with similar crimes.
Stansbury is due back in court on Oct. 7.
Copyright ©2010 San Mateo County Times. Published 09/29/2010.