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Retired Santa Barbara County probation officer arrested in Santa Maria on alleged tax, theft charges
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Retired Santa Barbara County probation officer arrested in Santa Maria on alleged tax, theft charges

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A retired Santa Barbara County Probation Officer and former high school basketball coach was arrested on Wednesday and is facing more than a dozen charges, including felonies, related to theft and filing false tax returns, according to Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley. 

Manual Edward Torres, 64, of Santa Maria was taken into custody after a $500,000 warrant for his arrest was issued and will be charged on Friday with 15 felony counts, according to Deputy District Attorney Brian Cota. 

Torres is a former girls basketball coach for St. Joseph High School and assistant girls basketball coach for Orcutt Academy. 

Charges include misappropriation of public funds, grand theft of monies from the Santa Barbara County Probation Peace Officers Association, forgery and false personation, which are alleged to have occurred between Jan. 1, 2009 and June 30, 2019. 

Additionally, Torres will face three counts of failure to file an income tax return for years 2009 to 2011 and eight counts of filing a false income tax return for years 2012 to 2019, according to Dudley.

Torres also faces an aggravated white collar crime enhancement because the alleged crimes involved taking more than $500,000. 

Torres is scheduled to be arraigned in Department 8 in the Figueroa Division of Superior Court in Santa Barbara. 

Over two coaching stints with the St. Joseph girls basketball team, Torres led the Knights to two state championships, three state title games and a CIF Southern Section divisional championship. Torres guided the Knights to a state championship in 1991 and 2011.

With the team struggling, there was a sudden coaching change in December of 2018 and Analise Riezebos, a former St. Joseph player, replaced Torres as coach.

Torres became an assistant coach for the Orcutt Academy girls basketball team last year.

Before his second coaching stint with the St. Joseph girls, Torres had a successful run with the St. Joseph boys, guiding the Knights to two sectional divisional championships. He coached the Knights for 27 combined seasons in both boys and girls basketball and won a total of seven CIF Southern Section championships (five in girls and two in boys) and two CIF state titles in girls basketball.


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The following is taken from the Santa Maria Police Department's calls-for-service log and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office daily arrest log. Those appearing as "arrested" are only suspected of the crime indicated but are presumed innocent.

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