|For Immediate Release
Case # 11NF2576August 26, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
OFFICE MANAGER TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR STEALING OVER $284,000 FROM LA HABRA EMPLOYER BY WRITING CHECKS TO SELF AND TAKING PETTY CASH
SANTA ANA – An office manager will be arraigned Monday for defrauding her employer out of $284,000 by writing checks to herself and stealing petty cash payments. Veronica Martinez, 55, La Habra, is charged with 51 felony counts of forgery, 51 felony counts of falsifying records, and one felony count of grand theft with sentencing enhancements and allegations for loss over $100,000, aggravated white collar crime over $100,000, and property damage over $65,000. If convicted, she faces a sentence ranging from probation up to 73 years in state prison. Martinez is being held on $150,000 bail and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. The La Habra Police Department investigated this case and arrested Martinez yesterday, Aug. 25, 2011. She is expected to be arraigned Monday, Aug. 29, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.
Martinez is accused of working as an office manager for the La Habra Fence Company and had access to all company cash, checks, and financial bookkeeping records. She is also accused of being solely responsible for receiving and recording petty cash payments. Between April 2004 and September 2009, Martinez is accused of stealing over $284,000 from the business.
The defendant is accused of writing company checks to herself and then falsely recording in the financial books that the checks had been paid to other payees, including vendors and bills. She is also accused of stealing petty cash payments and failing to record that the payments had been made in an effort to hide her theft.
In early 2010, a company employee became suspicious after giving Martinez petty cash from a job and discovering the cash missing later in the day. The theft was discovered after La Habra Fence Company performed a financial audit.
Deputy District Attorney Marc Labreche of the Major Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.