|For Immediate Release
Case # 08CF3105
October 30, 2008
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
FORMER SUPERIOR COURT ADMINSTRATIVE ASSISTANT CHARGED WITH STEALING MORE
THAN $13,000 FROM COURT ASSOCIATION
FUND BY WRITING CHECKS TO SELF
SANTA ANA – The former Executive Administrative Assistant to the Chief Financial & Administrative Officer (CFAO) of the Superior Court of California in Orange County has been charged with embezzling more than $13,000 from the Superior Court Association by writing checks payable to herself using Superior Court Association bank accounts. Betty Duenas, 37, Lake Elsinore, is charged with one felony count of grand theft and faces a maximum sentence of three years in state prison if convicted. The People will request $20,000 bail. The Orange County bench has recused themselves from the case to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest. The case will be heard before a judge from another county to be assigned by the Judicial Council. The defendant is expected to surrender to the court tomorrow and an arraignment date is to be determined.
On July 16, 2007, and Oct. 9, 2007, Duenas is accused of writing checks made payable to herself from the Superior Court Association Fund in the amount of $6,852.99 and $6,215, respectively. The Superior Court Association is an association that pays the cost of judicial meets and activities. The defendant is accused of depositing the checks into her personal account and attempting to conceal her theft by altering the account books and records to indicate that the checks had been used to pay other invoices.
In May 2008, a Superior Court employee discovered the theft after receiving an unpaid invoice for 2007, which the records showed Duenas had paid.
Deputy District Attorney Chuck Lawhorn of the White Collar Crime Team is prosecuting this case.