Here's one we didn't get to last week: Mawufemor Bierko, a former foreign-exchange student from Ghana, pleaded guilty Wednesday to embezzling more than $100,000 from the Girl Scout Council of Orange County. Biekro, 35, who has worked as staff accountant for the Irvine-based nonprofit, Ghana, was sentenced to five years and four months in custody that will break down as two years and four months in jail and three years being monitored. He also has to repay the Girl Scouts $102,479.
After Bierko, who worked with the Girl Scouts between January 2010 and February 2011, was confronted by leaders about financial irregularities, he never returned to work. The Irvine Police Department was called on Feb. 1, 2011, and an investigated revealed Bierko had masked thefts in a spreadsheet program before writing more than $100,000 in checks to himself from the nonprofit's funds that he deposited in a New York bank and then transferred out of the country.
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Bierko, a forme Golden West College and Cal State Long Beach business student, boarded a plane for Ghana after he was found out. He was arrested last July at the airport in Green Bay, Wisconsin--getting ready for a connecting flight to Washington, D.C.--by U.S. marshals acting on a tip from Irvine Police.
He copped last week to one felony count of grand theft embezzlement and two felony counts of forgery with a sentencing enhanceshalment of excess taking for property loss over $65,000. The Girl Scouts recovered the amount it lost through its insurance carrier, which presumably would be the actual entity getting Bierko's restitution payments.