|For Immediate Release
Case # 09NF1631
June 10, 2009
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
FINANCIAL CONTRACTS CLERK AND SISTER-IN-LAW CHARGED WITH EMBEZZLING MORE THAN $1 MILLION IN FRAUDULENT CHECKS FROM CAR DEALERSHIP
FULLERTON – A car dealership financial contracts clerk and her sister-in-law have been arrested and charged with embezzling more than $1 million from the dealership through fraudulent checks disguised as trade-in payments. Sheryl Lynne Law, 46, Riverside, and her sister-in-law Jessica Louise Newark, 64, Whittier, are charged with one felony count of grand theft by embezzlement, 80 felony counts of computer access and fraud, and sentencing enhancement allegations for aggravated white collar crime over $500,000, property damage over $150,000, and loss over $100,000. If convicted on all counts, the defendants face a sentencing ranging from five years and four months to 63 years and four months in state prison. Law and Newark are each being held on $1 million bail and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. They are expected to be arraigned tomorrow, Thursday, June 11, 2009, at 9:00 a.m. in Department N-3, North Justice Center, Fullerton.
Law, who had worked at Caliber Motors in Anaheim Hills as a contracts clerk in the financial department for 10 years, was responsible for writing and distributing trade-in payment checks to customers and keeping a log of the transactions detailing who had been paid. Between June 19, 2000, and Aug. 13, 2007, Law is accused of writing 144 fraudulent checks and embezzling more than $1 million from Caliber Motors. She is accused of writing the checks to her sister-in-law, Newark, or to Newark’s now-deceased husband. Law and Newark are accused of splitting the stolen money.
Law is accused of manipulating the company’s financial records to hide the theft. She is accused of failing to include the fraudulent checks on manual records and entering them directly into the computer system under Newark’s name. She is accused of adding a notation on the checks, “Equity Due On Trade,” to disguise the theft and give the checks the appearance that they were legitimate customer trade-in payments.
On Sept. 10, 2007, the Chief Financial Officer of Caliber Motors contacted the Anaheim Police Department (APD) to report the suspected theft after the company’s business manager discovered multiple suspicious checks written from Law to Newark. Law and Newark were arrested today at their homes in Riverside and Whittier, respectively, by APD.
Deputy District Attorney Marc Labreche of the Major Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.