|For Immediate Release
Case # 08CF2460
January 20, 2009
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
PAYROLL MANAGER SENTENCED FOR EMBEZZLING $487,000 FROM EMPLOYER AND SPENDING STOLEN MONEY ON PERSONAL LUXURIES AND GAMBLING
SANTA ANA – A former payroll manager of a publicly traded company was sentenced today for stealing more than $487,000 from his employer by transferring money into a personal account to spend on personal luxuries and gambling. Robert Lee Winn, 43, Norco, pleaded guilty on Dec. 11, 2008, to 48 felony counts of computer access and fraud with white collar crime sentencing enhancement allegations for causing loss over $100,000 and excessive taking over $150,000. He was sentenced to five years in state prison and ordered to pay $487,000 in restitution.
Between Dec. 31, 2003, and July 2, 2007, Winn embezzled more than $487,000 from his Santa Ana employer, Advanced Medical Optics (AMO), while he worked as the payroll manager. Winn used AMO’s payroll computer system to make direct deposits into a business checking account for an unrelated company owned solely by Winn. After the fraudulent transactions had been processed, Winn re-entered the AMO system and changed the names on checks that had been deposited into his account to those of current and former employees in an effort to cover his crimes. He spent the embezzled money on landscaping his home, travel and living expenses, and gambling.
In July 2007, an AMO payroll audit discovered the fraudulent transactions while Winn was on vacation. In addition to the more than $487,000 loss, several current and former employees had excessive funds fraudulently credited to their taxes, making them financially responsible to pay taxes for money they never received.
Deputy District Attorney Marc Labreche of the Major Frauds Unit prosecuted this case.