For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
FORMER DANA POINT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PRESIDENT SENTENCED FOR STEALING OVER $129,000 USING COMPANY CREDIT CARD AND BANK ACCOUNT
NEWPORT BEACH – A former President/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce (COC) was convicted and sentenced today for stealing over $129,000 from her employer using the COC credit card and checking account. Nichole Lashawn Chambers, 39, Highland, pleaded guilty to the court to one felony count of grand theft by an employee with a sentencing enhancement for over $100,000 in loss. Chambers was sentenced to one year in jail, four years of state prison suspended, five years of formal probation, and restitution.
At the time of the crime, Chambers worked as the President/CEO of the Dana Point COC. She worked as a paid employee hired by the Board of Directors responsible for daily operations.
Between January 2008 and October 2010, Chambers stole over $129,000 by using the COC’s credit card and checking account for personal expenses not authorized by the Board of Directors including clothes, child care, dining out, a trip to Las Vegas, and other items.
In October 2010, a member of the Board of Directors became suspicious when Chambers failed to provide proper financial records for review. Chambers resigned from the COC later that month and paid back approximately $2,500 of the $129,000 to the victims.
The theft was reported to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, who investigated this case. Deputy District Attorney Sean O’Brien of the White Collar Crime Team prosecuted this case.