FINANCIAL CONTRACTS CLERK AND SISTER-IN-LAW SENTENCED TO STATE PRISON FOR EMBEZZLING MORE THAN $1 MILLION IN FRAUDULENT CHECKS FROM CAR DEALERSHIP

OCDASeal

Orange County District Attorney
Press Release


Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For Immediate Release
Case # 09NF1631        


 



October 30, 2009

Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

Farrah Emami
Spokesperson
Office: 714-347-8405
Cell: 714-323-4486

FINANCIAL CONTRACTS CLERK AND SISTER-IN-LAW SENTENCED TO STATE PRISON FOR EMBEZZLING MORE THAN $1 MILLION IN FRAUDULENT CHECKS FROM CAR DEALERSHIP

 

FULLERTON – A car dealership financial contracts clerk and her sister-in-law were sentenced today for embezzling more than $1 million from the dealership through fraudulent checks disguised as trade-in payments. Sheryl Lynne Law, 46, Riverside, pleaded guilty to 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. She was sentenced to 10 years in state prison and ordered to pay over $1 million in restitution.

 

Law’s co-defendant sister-in-law, Jessica Louise Newark, 64, Whittier, pleaded guilty to 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. She was sentenced to three years in state prison and ordered to pay over $1 million in restitution.

 

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 wrote 144 fraudulent checks and embezzled more than $1 million from Caliber Motors. She wrote the checks to her sister-in-law, Newark, or to Newark’s now-deceased husband. Law and Newark split the stolen money.

 

Law manipulated the company’s financial records to hide the theft. She failed to include the fraudulent checks on manual records and entered them directly into the computer system under Newark’s name. She added 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 June 10, 2009, at their homes in Riverside and Whittier, respectively, by APD.

 

Deputy District Attorney Marc Labreche of the Major Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.

 

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