Laura Estrella Cruz, ex-County Treasurer-Tax Collector Assistant, Convicted of Theft of $2,600

Former Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector accounting assistant Laura Estrella Cruz was convicted today of stealing over $2,600 in taxes and fees residents sent to her office.

The 35-year-old Santa Ana resident pleaded guilty to one felony count of grand theft and one felony count of misappropriation of public funds.

She was sentenced to 60 days in jail, five years probation and 45 days of community service.

Cruz and was ordered to pay $2,616 in restitution and $1,000 to the Victim Witness Emergency Fund, and she is now barred from holding any public office in California.

Between January and July 2010, Cruz stole the more than $2,600 sent to the Treasurer-Tax Collector's Office by residents paying various fees and taxes. She deposited 20 checks and money orders made payable to the County of Orange into her personal bank account. A routine account check exposed her embezzlement, the Orange County Sheriff's Department conducted an investigation and Cruz was charged last year.


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