April 21, 2024

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Costing Accounting Everyday

Former Calif. CU Accounting Manager Pleads Guilty to Fraud & Embezzlement

statue of lady justice next to a gavel and law books Source: Shutterstock.

Soon after a change of plea listening to held in U.S. District Court in San Francisco past week, Stephanie Simontacchi, a former accounting supervisor for a California credit history union and a former assistant controller for a regional hotel, will be sentenced in June.

She pleaded responsible to a person felony rely of bank fraud, just one felony count of misapplication and embezzlement of credit history union money, and a single felony rely of tax evasion, in accordance to courtroom files. An indictment returned by a federal grand jury previous 12 months at first charged Simontacchi with 7 counts of bank fraud, seven counts of misapplication and embezzlement of credit score union funds, and 4 counts of tax evasion. Simontacchi at first pleaded not responsible to people costs.

Despite the fact that a plea arrangement between federal prosecutors and Simontacchi is stated on the federal docket, its online accessibility has been blocked to the community and the media.

In accordance to the indictment, Simontacchi of Petaluma, Calif., embezzled a lot more than $437,000 from the $7.4 billion Redwood Credit Union starting up in April 2016 by April 2019.

RCU said it discovered the fraud in 2019 and instantly reported it to police. No losses ended up incurred by RCU associates because of the fraudulent action and the credit history union stated it additional strengthened its programs and processes to reduce long term incidents of this character.

Right before becoming a member of the Santa Rosa-centered credit rating union, Simontacchi labored as a bookkeeper and assistant controller with Cavallo Position Lodge, a resort close to Sausalito, Calif., from December 2009 via April 2016, when she also embezzled $384,363, in accordance to federal prosecutors.

At RCU, Simontacchi’s responsibilities included processing voided official checks (also regarded as cashier’s checks) and speaking with the credit history union’s formal check vendor regarding troubles pertaining to the funding and voiding of these checks. She also had obtain to checks supposed for and produced payable to RCU that had been despatched to the accounting section for processing, which include reimbursement checks from the official check out vendor and reimbursement checks from the United States Treasury Department and State of California.

The indictment alleged that Simontacchi embezzled some of these checks, as properly as official checks that experienced been returned to RCU by associates and have been intended to have been voided. As a substitute, the previous credit rating union staff deposited these checks into her particular lender accounts. Court files confirmed Simontacchi held 12 various accounts at large banking companies and a single account at RCU, which integrated a examining and HELOC account.

At the Cavallo Stage Lodge, Simontacchi experienced obtain to her employer’s accounting documents and accounting programs, and had signatory authority over bank accounts, which permitted her to build and indication checks from the hotel’s financial institution accounts to pay out the company’s payments.

The indictment confirmed that Simontacchi embezzled resources from her employer by thieving accounts receivable checks that had been sent to Cavallo Place Lodge from 3rd parties and deposited people checks into her personalized financial institution accounts. She also allegedly embezzled accounts payable checks that had been drawn from Cavallo Place Lodge’s financial institution accounts and manufactured payable to third-get together suppliers. Instead of sending these checks to the 3rd parties, Simontacchi deposited them in her very own financial institution accounts, according to federal prosecutors.

She employed the embezzled resources for particular expenditures, which includes payments on her HELOC, court documents confirmed.

Simontacchi is at the moment absolutely free on bond. Her law firm did not respond to CU Instances‘ request for comment.