SANTA ANA, California– A former office manager for an independent sporting goods distributor was found guilty this afternoon of three counts of wire fraud for using company checks and credit cards to embezzle more than $300,000 from her Los Alamitos-based employer.
Juliana James England, 60, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was found guilty of the three felony counts for embezzling money from her former employer, Callan Western Sales Company (CWS).
The evidence at trial showed that England charged company credit cards and wrote company checks to herself to obtain the company's funds. As part of her scheme, she altered company records and created false bank stubs to give to the company's accountant.
England was hired by CWS in 2000 to be a part-time secretary and office manager in charge of office administration, which including preparing checks for the signature of Michael Callan, the founder of the company. England was also in charge of maintaining the company's check ledger, coding the payments, and providing monthly bank statements to the company's accountant.
From March 2003 to July 2007, England wrote at least 55 checks payable to either herself or her creditors totaling more than $33,000. To cover her tracks, England wrote false notations on the check stubs to indicate payment to a legitimate company vendor. After using these checks for her personal use, she altered the company's bank statements and provided these altered statements to the CPA.
England also used company credit cards for unauthorized expenses which totaled nearly $280,000. She used CWS Visa and American Express credit cards for personal expenses and made unauthorized online payments from the CWS bank account to these credits cards in an attempt to conceal the unauthorized purchases.
“Workers who steal from their employers can face consequences far beyond mere termination,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “Embezzlement is a serious criminal offense. The defendant's conduct in this case was egregious in that she sought to conceal her crimes by altering business documents and bank records. In the end, those efforts became compelling evidence of the embezzlement.”
England was ordered to surrender herself to the United States Marshals Service on March 1. England is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge James V. Selna on June 20, at which time she will face a statutory maximum penalty of 60 years in federal prison.
England is also facing charges in the Eastern District of Arkansas for making false statements to the Social Security Administration to obtain disability benefits.
This case was the product of an investigation by Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Los Alamitos Police Department.
USAO – California, Central Financial Fraud Updated February 24, 2016
Central District of California DOJ / 16-033 / February 23, 2016