|For Immediate Release
Case # 10CF3263
May 31, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
FORMER COUNTY TREASURER-TAX COLLECTOR ACCOUNTING ASSISTANT CONVICTED OF MISAPPROPRIATING OVER $2,600 IN PUBLIC FUNDS BY STEALING MAILED-IN TAX CHECKS
SANTA ANA – A former accounting assistant with the Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office has been convicted of stealing over $2,600 in taxes and fees sent by citizens to the County of Orange. Laura Estrella Cruz, 35, Santa Ana, pleaded guilty today, May 31, 2011, to one felony count of grand theft and one felony count of misappropriation of public funds. She was sentenced to 60 days in jail, five years formal probation, 45 days of Cal Trans or community service, and was ordered to pay $2,616 in restitution and $1,000 to the Victim Witness Emergency Fund. Cruz is also barred from holding any public office in California.
In 2010, Cruz was an accounting assistant with the Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office. Between January and July 2010, Cruz abused her position by embezzling and misappropriating over $2,600 sent to the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office by citizens for various fees and taxes. She is accused of depositing approximately 20 checks and money orders made payable to the County of Orange into her personal bank account.
The theft was discovered during a routine accounting review by the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department investigated this case.