|For Immediate Release
Case # TBA
December 15, 2010
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
14-YEAR ARCHITECTURAL FIRM EMPLOYEE TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR EMBEZZELING OVER $150,000 TO FINANCE PERSONAL EXPENSES
SANTA ANA – A 14-year employee of a Newport Beach architectural firm will be arraigned tomorrow for embezzling over $150,000 to finance personal expenses including travel purchases. Suzanne Denise Baumann, 40, Anaheim Hills, is charged with two felony counts of grand theft and one felony count of second degree commercial burglary with sentencing enhancements for aggravated white collar crime over $100,000 and property damage over $65,000. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of six years and four months in state prison. The people will be requesting Baumann be held on $160,000 bail and the defendant must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. The defendant is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow, Dec. 16, 2010, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.
Beginning in 1996, Baumann worked for Scheurer Architect in Newport Beach. She is accused of being responsible for overseeing the company’s financial accounts and records and stealing over $115,700 by charging unauthorized purchases on three different company credit cards. Baumann is also accused of stealing over $44,000 from the company’s bank account to pay charges on her personal credit card. The defendant is accused of spending the money on personal expenses including travel expenses, concert tickets, and items online from Amazon.com.
In early May 2010, a Scheurer Architect employee noticed a missing check that Baumann made payable to herself. After an audit of the corporate accounts, the theft was reported to the Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD).
On May 16, 2010, Baumann is accused of going to NBPD and using a stolen company credit card to pay for a massage therapy license to start her new business.
After further investigation by NBPD, Baumann was arrested yesterday, Dec. 14, 2010.
Deputy District Attorney Yvette Patko of the Major Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.