A Fullerton woman was arrested and charged today with stealing more than $236,000 from her employer by allegedly loading up company credit cards with personal charges for airfare, hotels, an engagement ring and fertility treatments for her domestic partner.
Prosecutors announced that 35-year-old Ligia Baciu will be arraigned Thursday morning on 24 felony counts that could draw a prison stretch exceeding 20 years with a conviction.
She worked in the accounting department of Sweet Life Enterprises, a subsidiary of Brea-based Fresh Start Bakeries, Inc., where she was issued a company credit card in February 2008 to cover corporate expenses like shipping fees. She is accused of stealing more $236,000 by charging unauthorized personal expenses on her corporate credit card and additional credit and gas cards she opened in her own name and paid off with Fresh Start's plastic.
Besides the aforementioned items, Baciu is alleged to have fraudulently charged groceries, clothing, personal bill payments and a down payment on an Audi. She is further accused of trying to conceal her thefts by altering company books to make it appear other employees made those buys.
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After she left Sweet Life in October 2009, she is accused of continuing to steal from her employers through January 2010, when an accounting review of the business' credit card statements revealed her alleged thefts. The Brea Police Department investigated before arresting Baciu today.
According to the Orange County District Attorney's office, Baciu was charged today with 21 felony counts of computer access and fraud and three felony counts of fraudulently using access cards. She also faces sentencing enhancements for loss over $100,000, aggravated white collar crime over $100,000, and property loss over $200,000.
Baciu was being held on $250,000 bail pending Thursday's scheduled 10 a.m. hearing in Santa Ana.