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October 23, 2012

POLICE ASSOCIATION OFFICER MANAGER CHARGED WITH EMBEZZLING OVER $360,000 USING ALTERED PAY CHECKS

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , , — fayarfa @ 1:38 pm

SANTA ANA - An office manager for the Anaheim Police Association has been charged with embezzling over $360,000 from her employer by changing the amount on her paycheck after it had been signed by her bosses. Cindy Ann Su’a, 46, Whittier, is charged with 117 felony counts of forgery, 23 felony counts of computer access fraud, and two felony counts of willful failure to file tax returns with sentencing enhancements for over $100,000 loss, aggravated white collar crime over $100,000, and property loss over $200,000. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 99 years in state prison. Cindy Su’a is being held on $360,000 bail and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond.

Cindy Su’a’s husband John Su’a, 46, Whittier, is charged with two felony counts of willful failure to file tax returns. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of three years and eight months in state prison. John Su’a is being held on $20,000 bail.

Both defendants are expected to be arraigned Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.

At the time of the crime, Cindy Su’a was the office manager for the Anaheim Police Association and was responsible for all check writing, company credit cards, and bookkeeping. She was the only paid employee with an approximate salary of $65,000 annually.

Between August 2007 and March 2012, Cindy Su’a is accused of embezzling over $360,000 by changing the amount on her paycheck after it had been signed by her bosses. She is accused of using a typewriter correction feature to change her bi-monthly payment amount from $2,489 to $5,489 or $6,489. The defendant is accused of fraudulently paying herself nearly $200,000 one year. Cindy Su’a is also accused of using the association’s online banking to pay her own bills.

For the 2009 and 2010 tax years, Cindy Su’a and her husband John Su’a are accused of failing to file tax returns for their personal income taxes.

This case was discovered when the association President noticed a discrepancy in Cindy Su’a’s intended annual salary and actual income after receiving delinquency notices regarding her failure to file taxes from the Internal Revenue Service.

October 15, 2012

BOOKKEEPER TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR EMBEZZLING $1.7 MILLION FROM WORKPLACE BY FORGING SIGNATURES ON CHECKS

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 5:28 pm

SANTA ANA - A controller/bookkeeper is scheduled to be arraigned Monday for embezzling $1.7 million from her workplace by forging the company owner’s signatures on checks. Rebecca Rhea Moore, 38, Dyersburg, TN, is charged with two felony counts of grand theft by embezzlement, eight felony counts each of computer access fraud and falsifying records, and 29 felony counts of forgery with sentencing enhancement allegations for loss over $1.3 million and aggravated white collar crime over $500,000. If convicted, Moore faces a maximum sentence of 36 years and four months in state prison. She is currently being held on $1.75 million bail and is expected to be arraigned Monday, Oct. 15, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.

Between July 2003 and October 2011, Moore is accused of working as controller/bookkeeper for Dan Miller Inc., dba Miller Contracting Company. Between December 2003 and October 2011, the defendant is accused of forging the company owner’s signature on company checks that she wrote to herself. She is accused of attempting to conceal her theft by falsifying the company’s financial records to indicate that the checks were paid to legitimate company vendors.

The defendant is accused of using the embezzled funds to pay off her personal credit card and mortgage accounts and to purchase landscape and furnish a new residence in San Clemente and timeshare properties in Las Vegas and Maui.

In October 2011, the victim reported the theft to Irvine Police Department (IPD), who reviewed the company financial accounts and discovered his forged signature on several checks recently paid to the defendant. IPD investigated the case and arrested Moore yesterday, Oct. 11, 2012.

October 8, 2012

BUSINESS OPERATOR TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR STEALING $2.7 MILLION WORTH OF WINE FROM CLIENTS’ STORAGE LOCKERS

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 7:55 pm

*Defendant is also being charged with tax and insurance fraud in a separate case (Case # 12ZF0129)

SANTA ANA - A business operator will be arraigned tomorrow for stealing $2.7 million worth of wine from his clients’ storage lockers. George Osumi, 64, Newport Beach, is charged with three felony counts of second degree commercial burglary, one felony count each of grand theft, embezzlement by employee, receiving stolen property, and one misdemeanor count for possession of burglary tools with sentencing enhancements for aggravated white collar crime over $500,000 property damage over $1.3 million, and crime-bail-crime. Osumi faces a maximum sentence of 16 years and four months in state prison if convicted. Osumi is being held on $4,000,000 bail and is scheduled for a continued arraignment hearing tomorrow, Oct. 5, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-30, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Between Jan. 1, 2008, and June 21, 2012, Osumi is accused of operating the commercial building Legend Cellars, Inc. in Irvine. The business allowed people to store their wine in storage lockers at a controlled temperature. On three occasions, Osumi is accused of breaking into the private storage lockers of three different owners and stealing their wine that had an estimated value of $2.7 million. Osumi is accused of replacing the bottles of wine he stole with a much cheaper brand.

In 2008, Osumi is accused of hiring a friend, who did not know the wine was stolen, to auction off some of the stolen wine in exchange for a portion of the proceeds. Osumi is accused of having approximately $280,000 deposited into his business account and using the money to pay for personal expenses and legal fees.

Between July 20, 2011, and June 7, 2012, Osumi is accused of directly auctioning some of the stolen wine for $310,965 and having the money deposited into his business account.

September 14, 2012

FORMER DANA POINT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PRESIDENT TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR STEALING OVER $129,000 USING COMPANY CREDIT CARD AND BANK ACCOUNT

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 4:23 pm

NEWPORT BEACH - A former President/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce (COC) will be arraigned tomorrow for stealing over $129,000 from her employer using the COC credit card and checking account.  Nichole Lashawn Chambers, 39, Highland, is charged with three felony counts of grand theft by an employee with sentencing enhancements and allegations for over $100,000 in loss, aggravated white collar crime over $100,000, and property damage over $65,000. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of over six years in state prison. The defendant is being held on $130,000 bail and is scheduled for a continued arraignment tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. in Department H-2, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.

At the time of the crime, Chambers is accused of working as the President/CEO of the Dana Point COC. She is accused of working as a paid employee hired by the Board of Directors responsible for daily operations.

Between January 2008 and October 2010, Chambers is accused of stealing over $129,000 by using the COC’s credit card and checking account for personal expenses not authorized by the Board of Directors including clothes, child care, dining out, a trip to Las Vegas, and other items.

In October 2010, a member of the Board of Directors became suspicious when Chambers failed to provide proper financial records for review. Chambers is accused of resigning from the COC later that month and is accused of paying back approximately $2,500 of the $129,000 to the victims.

September 13, 2012

Former Long Beach City Employee Sentenced to Prison, Ordered to Repay Nearly $650,000 in Restitution

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 6:15 pm

LOS ANGELES – A former Long Beach City clerk who admitted embezzling money from the city’s Animal Care Services Bureau was sentenced today to three years state prison and ordered to nearly $650,000 in restitution, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Dana Aratani of the Public Integrity Division said Jongluck Mutrais, 59, was ordered to pay $600,000 to Long Beach Animal Care Services and $48,194 to the state’s Franchise Tax Board. Mutrais was sentenced by Commissioner Robert Kawahara.

The City of Orange resident pleaded guilty on Aug. 24 to one felony count of misappropriation of public funds and one felony count to filing a false income tax return. In exchange for her plea, the remaining seven counts were dismissed today.

Mutrais, who resigned in August 2010, was charged in May with embezzling the money over the 10 years that she worked for the agency.

Aratani said the theft came to light in August 2010 after the bureau, which is responsible for kennel operations, dog licensing, adoption and general animal control, implemented a comprehensive computer system to track funds.

September 10, 2012

ATTORNEY CHARGED WITH EMBEZZLING OVER $720,000 FROM CLIENT TRUST ACCOUNT BELONGING TO ELDERLY SISTERS HE KNEW THROUGH CHURCH

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 4:50 pm

SANTA ANA - An attorney has been charged with embezzling over $720,000 from his client trust account from two elderly sisters after offering to assist them with their finances following the death of their mother. Peter David Nitschke, 45, Newport Beach, is charged with two felony counts of theft from an elder with sentencing enhancements and allegations for over $100,000 loss, aggravated white collar crime over $500,000, and property loss over $200,000. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 12 years in state prison. Detectives from the Irvine Police Department (IPD) arrested the defendant this morning. Nitschke is being held on $725,000 bail and is expected to be arraigned tomorrow, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2012, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.

In March 2010, the 95-year-old mother of 65-year-old Diane C. and 69-year-old Virginia C. died, leaving her daughters a home in Northern California and over $675,000 in bank accounts.

Nitschke, a then-Irvine-based attorney, is accused of being friends with the victim’s family and was president of their church congregation, the Lutheran Church of the Cross in Laguna Woods. The defendant is accused of offering to help Diane and Virginia C. settle the financial accounts and directed them to give him cashier’s checks in the amount of all the funds left to them in the bank accounts by their mother. He is accused of stealing over $675,000 from the victims by depositing the money into his personal bank accounts instead of placing it in his client trust account as required by the California State Bar.  The defendant is also accused of stealing an additional $46,000 from the victim by failing to return the funds to them from a real estate transaction. Nitschke is accused of then spending the money or hiding it by moving it into other accounts.

In early 2012, the victims’ family inquired with the defendant about the money to assist Diane and Virginia C. with medical and nursing home expenses. Despite the account having been closed with a zero balance, Nitschke is accused of creating a fraudulent bank statement dated that month to falsely show that the funds were in his client trust account.

After becoming suspicious of the defendant’s handling of the accounts, the victim’s called IPD in May 2012.

May 24, 2012

PARENT TEACHER ORGANIZATION PRESIDENT TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR EMBEZZLING OVER $22,000 FROM ELEMENTARY SCHOOL FUNDRAISERS

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 4:31 am

WESTMINSTER- The President of a Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow for embezzling over $22,000 from school fundraisers. Gail Diane Panella-Monestere, 52, Huntington Beach, is charged with one felony count of grand theft by embezzlement. If convicted, Panella-Monestere faces a maximum sentence of three years in Orange County Jail. Panella-Monestere is being held on $25,000 bail and is expected to be arraigned tomorrow, May 18, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. in Department W-14, West Justice Center, Westminster.

Between September 2010 and February 2011, the defendant is accused of serving as PTO president for Sun View Elementary School in Huntington Beach and was responsible for tracking and maintaining fundraiser money.

The defendant is accused of abusing her position of trust by embezzling approximately $22,000 by writing unauthorized checks to herself from the PTO bank account in amounts ranging from $250 to $800 and cashing them for her own personal use. The defendant is accused of keeping cash raised from fundraising events intended to be deposited into the PTO bank account.

April 18, 2012

Former Chief Financial Officer of Irvine Technology Firm Indicted in Embezzlement Scheme and Returned to California Today

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 12:40 am

SANTA ANA—A federal grand jury returned an indictment Wednesday that charges the former chief financial officer of an Irvine-based technology company with a fraud scheme to embezzle approximately $16 million from his employer, announced André Birotte, Jr., the United States Attorney in Los Angeles; and Steven Martinez, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.

Jean Joseph Ibrahim, 33, formerly of Rancho Santa Margarita, was returned to California today and is expected to appear for an arraignment on Friday in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana. Ibrahim has remained in federal custody since he was arrested last month upon entering the United States through New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport. During a detention hearing held following his arrest on April 4, a federal magistrate in Brooklyn, New York ordered that Ibrahim be transferred to Orange County for prosecution. The indictment, returned Wednesday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, charges Ibrahim with two counts of wire fraud in connection with the embezzlement scheme.

According to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana on March 30, representatives for an Irvine-based company, Trustin Technology, contacted law enforcement with suspicions that Ibrahim had embezzled funds prior to resigning from the company in February 2012. The complaint alleged that company executives had approached Ibrahim with growing concerns about the company’s finances earlier this year but were advised by Ibrahim that delinquent customer payments had caused a cash flow shortage. When Ibrahim resigned from the company, an analysis of Trustin’s accounting records revealed that Ibrahim had been diverting the company’s money to his personal bank accounts, the complaint alleged.

According to the indictment, Ibrahim had been misappropriating Trustin customer payments since at least 2009 by diverting a portion to his personal accounts. Ibrahim manipulated company balance sheets to make it appear that customer payments were directed to the company’s accounts, when they were actually controlled by the defendant, the indictment alleges.

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April 1, 2012

D.A. Announces Six Indicted in Coliseum Scandal

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 10:52 pm

LOS ANGELES – District Attorney Steve Cooley announced today that six people, including three former top managers for the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, have been indicted on conspiracy, embezzlement and bribery charges for allegedly stealing millions from the historic stadium.

Cooley said a criminal Grand Jury returned the 29-count felony indictment late Tuesday, charging former Coliseum general manager Patrick Lynch, former events manager Todd DeStefano, former technical manager Leopold Caudillo Jr., music and event promoters Pasquale Rotella and Reza Gerami, and janitorial contractor Antonio (Tony) Estrada.

“Our Public Integrity Division prosecutors and D.A. investigators have done an outstanding job in putting this case together, and I commend them for their tireless efforts,” Cooley said. “My office has thoroughly investigated and will aggressively prosecute this public corruption case.

“We look forward to presenting our evidence in court.”

The indictment was unsealed this morning after DeStefano, Lynch, Gerami and Rotella appeared before Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg and pleaded not guilty. Defendants Caudillo and Estrada have not been arrested or arraigned because they are out of the country.

The indictment alleged that Lynch, 55, and DeStefano, 39, participated in a variety of schemes beginning in 2006 that siphoned money from the city- and county-owned stadium, into their own pockets.

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March 14, 2012

OXNARD WOMAN WHO EMBEZZLED FROM FOSTER FAMILY AGENCY SENTENCED TO 41 MONTHS IN FEDERAL PRISON

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 9:43 pm

LOS ANGELES – An Oxnard woman who embezzled over $700,000 from the Inner Circle Foster Family Agency was sentenced today by United States District Judge Christina A. Snyder to 41 months in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution of $708,924 to Inner Circle.

Kathaleen Prince, 62, previously pleaded guilty to a four-count indictment charging her with misapplication of property of an organization receiving federal funds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 666(a)(1)(A).  Inner Circle is a licensed adoption agency that offers a variety of programs and services, including foster care, adoption, professional parent and outpatient counseling for victims of crimes.  The agency is a non-profit organization located in Van Nuys, California and receives federal funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Prince was employed by Inner Circle as a bookkeeper and accountant from April 2002 to February 2009.  Beginning in 2006 and continuing through 2009, Prince embezzled funds from Inner Circle by forging the signature of authorized persons on checks drawn on the bank accounts of Inner Circle that were made payable to herself and to her creditors, including checks that were used to pay for Prince’s personal credit card bills, cell phone bills, the mortgage for a boat that she had lived on, and a vacation in Hawaii.  In addition, Prince manipulated the books and records of Inner Circle to conceal her actions and falsely represented the agency’s financial condition to the agency’s Board of Directors.  Prince was fired by Inner Circle in February 2009 when her thefts were discovered.

In sentencing Prince to a 41-month prison term, Judge Snyder noted the seriousness of the crimes committed, the vulnerability of the foster families and children who were victimized by the crimes, and Prince’s pattern of recidivism.

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