A 68-year-old Orange woman was sentenced today to four years in state prison for embezzling $502,000 from the law office she managed to fund a lavish lifestyle that included cruises, gambling, timeshare properties, Home Shopping Network jewelry and collectibles, home improvements and the addition of an indoor spa, and pampered pet day spa visits for her pooch.
Donna Joy Henderson, who in 2000 began working as an office manager and bookkeeper for Rinos & Martin, LLP in Tustin, wrote checks to herself from company accounts and cooked the books to hide her thefts.
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Between January 2003 and September 2009, she wrote 122 company checks payable to herself, cash, personal credit cards, relatives or fictitious businesses and deposited them into her personal bank accounts. She documented the stolen checks as "void" in the company's accounting records and altered the firm's monthly financial statements that were submitted to the firm's managing partners for review.
When a new accountant was hired by the firm to implement a different financial system, that employee discovered a check marked "void" had actually been paid to Henderson. The theft was reported to Tustin police in September 2009 and, after further investigation of firm records dating back to 2002, Henderson was arrested this past January.
She pleaded guilty today to one felony count of grand theft by embezzlement with sentencing enhancements and allegations for property damage over $200,000 and loss over $100,000. In addition to her four-year prison sentence, Henderson was also ordered to pay $502,000 in restitution.
No word on who's going to break it to the dog that the mineral wraps are over.