UPDATE, FEB. 24, 11:37 A.M.: After deliberating about 2 1/2 hours, a federal jury in Santa Ana found Juliana James Englund guilty of three counts of wire fraud on Tuesday. The 50-year-old Cedar Rapids, Iowa, resident is scheduled to be sentenced June 20, but she also faces separate federal charges in Arkansas for allegedly obtaining Social Security benefits illegally, according to prosecutors.
ORIGINAL POST, FEB. 16, 6:02 A.M.: When teevee's Jesse James needed public support because of bad press due to his split from America's Sweetheart Sandra Bullock, a custody battle with earlier ex Janine Lindemulder or his father's vehement child abuse denials, Jesse's sister had the back of the most famous grease monkey in Long Beach.
Juliana James Englund could use some of that back today as her trial on embezzlement charges is scheduled to begin today in federal court in Santa Ana.
She allegedly stole about $400,000 from her then-employer Callan Western Sales, a Los Alamitos-based company that sold sporting goods, according to the FBI.
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Residing in Stanton at the time, Englund worked part-time doing clerical and administrative duties at the family owned business between about March 2000 through about August 2007, when she was given access to company checks, registers and online accounts, according to government prosecutors, who note she was expected to pay Callan expenses, including travel-related charges.
But, according to an indictment handed down by a federal grand jury, England wrote company checks to herself, hiding the thefts by writing the names of legitimate vendors on Callan check stubs. She also used the company’s online account to pay down her personal credit cards, concealing these transactions by having account statements sent to her home or a post office box in her name, the indictment claims.
Callan Western Sales discontinued operations due to financial difficulties, but after the business closed the owners received credit card statements with charges listed that were not related to the business, including some for England personal expenses such as airline tickets for family members, alleges the feds, who received the embezzlement allegations from the company.
After the company imploded, Englund had moved to Searcy, Arkansas, which is where she was arrested by FBI agents from Little Rock. The involvement of mail in the alleged crime makes his a federal mail fraud case, and the three counts against her could send her to prison for 60 years if she is convicted. That's an unlikely sentence for a first-time offender, however.