A 51-year-old La Habra woman is scheduled to be arraigned this morning on charges of defrauding the fence company she worked at out of $284,000 between April 2004 and September 2009.
As an office manager at La Habra Fence Co., Veronica Martinez had access to all company cash, checks and financial
bookkeeping records, and she was solely responsible for
receiving and recording petty cash payments.
“The defendant is accused of writing company checks to herself and then
falsely recording in the financial books that the checks had been paid
to other payees, including vendors and bills,” reads an Orange County District Attorney's office statement on Martinez's arraignment. “She is also accused of
stealing petty cash payments and failing to record that the payments had
been made in an effort to hide her theft.”
As is often the case in such crimes, someone at the company became suspicious, an audit was performed and cops–in this case, the La Habra Police Department–was informed, leading to an investigation that resulted in Martinez's arrest Thursday. She was held in lieu of $150,000 and had to prove the source of the money was from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond.
Martinez was later charged with 51 felony
counts of forgery, 51 felony counts of falsifying records, and one
felony count of grand theft with sentencing enhancements and allegations
for loss over $100,000, aggravated white collar crime over $100,000,
and property damage over $65,000.
The judge will have much leeway in sentencing if she is convicted, as guidelines range from probation up to 73 years in state prison.