|For Immediate Release
January 4, 2007
Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
(714) 347-8408 Office
(714) 292-2718 Cell
FORMER OFFICE MANAGER CHARGED WITH EMBEZZLING OVER $119,000 FROM HER DANA POINT EMPLOYER
NEWPORT BEACH – The Office Manager for a south county marketing company will be arraigned tomorrow for embezzling over $119,000 by writing personal checks to herself from the company account. Tara Ann Russo, 42, Ladera Ranch, is charged with grand theft and falsifying records with enhancements for property damage over $50,000 and aggravated white collar crime over $100,000. She is currently being held on $150,000 bail and faces up to five years in prison if convicted. Russo is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow, Friday, January 5, 2007 at 9:00 a.m. in Department H2, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.
From April 11, 2003 to September 10, 2005, Russo is accused of embezzling over $119,000 from her employer by writing over 100 checks to herself and depositing them into her personal account. Russo, who was working as the Office Manager, is accused of embezzling the money from Star Marketing in Dana Point, a company started by a friend and co-worker she met while working as a receptionist at another company. She is also accused of altering the books to falsely indicate that the money she was taking was being used for legitimate business purposes, such as paying bills. Russo is accused of quitting her job in 2005, and the fraud was discovered when a forensic accountant was hired to reconcile the accounting books in her absence.
Deputy District Attorney Debra Carrillo of the Economic Crimes Unit is prosecuting this case.