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Posted by Fay Arfa | Jun 22, 2017 | 0 Comments

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A bookkeeper was convicted yesterday of embezzling over $1.3 million from a law firm and issuing unauthorized checks for her own benefit.

Defendant Charges Maximum Exposure Court Date
Shawna Renee Barretto, 43, Anaheim Pleaded guilty on June 20, 2017, to the following felony counts:
  • (22) Computer access fraud
  • (21) Falsifying records
  • (7) Grand theft
  • (2) Identity theft
  • Theft from elder

Sentencing Enhancements

  • Aggravated white collar crime over $500,000
  • Property loss over $1.3 million
32 years in state prison Sentencing

Feb. 5, 2018, 8:30 a.m.

Department C-57, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana

Circumstances of the Case

  • Between 2005 and 2012, Barretto worked as a bookkeeper and an office manager for a law firm and embezzled over $1.3 million through deceptive record-keeping.
  • Barretto made unauthorized payments to her personal credit card accounts and opened credit card accounts in the law firm's name.
  • The defendant hid those fraudulent payments by entering false entries in the law firm's computer-based accounting records and used accounts to make payments on personal expenses including her children's private school tuition, golf club memberships, and other unauthorized expenses.
  • On May 12, 2012, an employee of the law firm was reviewing past bank records and discovered discrepancies in the financial records, including unauthorized checks, and reported it to the Irvine Police Department, who investigated this case.

Prosecutor: Deputy District Attorney Tina Patel of the Major Fraud Unit.

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 14HF0868 / June 21, 2017

About the Author

Fay Arfa

Fay Arfa has the distinction of being Certified as a Specialist in two separate areas of law – Criminal Law as well as Appellate Law – by the California State Bar, Board of Specialization. The National Board of Trial Advocacy has also awarded her a board Certification in Criminal Trial Advocacy. ...


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