FORMER DANA POINT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PRESIDENT TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR STEALING OVER $129,000 USING COMPANY CREDIT CARD AND BANK ACCOUNT

For Immediate Release
Case # 12HF2434






September 12, 2012

Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

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

FORMER DANA POINT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PRESIDENT TO BE ARRAIGNED 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) will be arraigned tomorrow for stealing over $129,000 from her employer using the COC credit card and checking account.  Nichole Lashawn Chambers, 39, Highland, is charged with three felony counts of grand theft by an employee with sentencing enhancements and allegations for over $100,000 in loss, aggravated white collar crime over $100,000, and property damage over $65,000. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of over six years in state prison. The defendant is being held on $130,000 bail and is scheduled for a continued arraignment tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. in Department H-2, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.

 

At the time of the crime, Chambers is accused of working as the President/CEO of the Dana Point COC. She is accused of working as a paid employee hired by the Board of Directors responsible for daily operations.

 

Between January 2008 and October 2010, Chambers is accused of stealing 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 is accused of resigning from the COC later that month and is accused of paying 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 is prosecuting this case.

 

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