Don't hate Ligia Baciu because she's beautiful--nor because she stole more than $236,000 from her employer to pay for airfare, hotels, an engagement ring and fertility treatments for her domestic partner.
After pleading guilty to 24 felony counts, the Fullerton 35-year-old today was sentenced to three years and four months in state prison, ordered to pay more than $236,000 in restitution and fined $500,000 payable to the county of Orange (which can really use it, apparently).
If Baciu had fought and been convicted of the original charges, she faced a maximum sentence of 20 years in a prison cell.
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. But she stole 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 fraudulently charged groceries, clothing, personal bill payments and a down payment on an Audi. She tried 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 still stole from her former employer through January 2010, when an accounting review of the business' credit card statements revealed her thefts. The Brea Police Department investigated before arresting Baciu on May 16.
Baciu copped 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.