|For Immediate Release
Case # 12NF1541
July 11, 2012
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
WOMAN SENTENCED TO THREE YEARS AND FOUR MONTHS IN PRISON FOR STEALING OVER $236,000 FROM EMPLOYER FOR TRIPS, ENGAGEMENT RING, AND FERTILITY TREATMENTS
SANTA ANA – A woman has been convicted and sentenced for stealing over $236,000 from her employer by fraudulently charging personal expenses to company credit cards including airfare, hotels, an engagement ring, and fertility treatments for her domestic partner. Ligia Baciu, 35, Fullerton, pleaded guilty today, July 11, 2012, to the court to 21 felony counts of computer access and fraud and three felony counts of fraudulently using access cards with sentencing enhancement allegations for loss over $100,000, aggravated white collar crime over $100,000, and property loss over $200,000. She was sentenced to three years and four months in state prison, ordered to pay over $236,000 in restitution, and fined $500,000 payable to the county of Orange.
Between August 2005 and October 2009, Baciu was employed in the accounting department of Sweet Life Enterprises, a subsidiary of Brea-based Fresh Start Bakeries, Inc. The defendant was responsible for all company credit card accounts.
In February 2008, Baciu was issued a company credit card to be used for legitimate corporate expenses, such as shipping payments. Baciu stole over $236,000 from Fresh Start Bakeries by charging unauthorized personal expenses to her corporate credit card. She ordered additional company credit and gas cards in her own name with various account numbers.
The defendant fraudulently used the company credit cards to pay for bills, grocery purchases, restaurants, airline and hotel charges, clothing, and a down-payment on an Audi. She also fraudulently paid for an engagement ring and fertility treatments for her domestic partner.
Baciu attempted to conceal her theft by manipulating the company’s financial records to indicate that her purchases had been made by other employees.
The defendant continued to make fraudulent purchases on the company credit card after she was no longer employed by Sweet Life in October 2009. She continued to steal from the victim until January 2010, when the theft was discovered in an accounting review of the business’ credit card statements.
The Brea Police Department investigated this case. Deputy District Attorney Marc Labreche of the Major Fraud Unit prosecuted this case.