embezzlement

A former Santa Barbara County winemaker has been sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to embezzlement, and tax fraud.

Santa Barbara County prosecutors say Christian Garvin stole money from his employer, Oreana Winery, over a seven year period. They say Garvin, who was also the winery’s manager, set up a separate account with a name similar to Oreana, and diverted some checks to it.

In addition to the prison sentence, Garvin was ordered to pay a million dollars in restitution and $1.7 million dollars in fines.

The former executive director of a foundation in Ventura County has been sentenced to jail after pleading guilty to grand theft and forgery.

Joanne Abruzzese worked at the Simi Valley Community Foundation for four years, including two as Executive Director. Ventura County prosecutors say the Simi Valley woman wrote foundation checks to a business she owned, and forged the second signature necessary to cash them. They say she stole more than $40,000 dollars.

A San Diego woman has been sentenced to two years behind bars for embezzling thousands of dollars from some Ventura County auto dealerships.

Ventura County prosecutors say in 2012 and 2013, Kathleen Rene Mills oversaw accounting for three dealerships owned by Alexander of Oxnard. They say the 51 year old woman forged checks out of payroll and petty cash accounts, and stole about $140,000. Investigators say they money was used to pay off personal credit cards. Mills entered guilty pleas to three felony counts of grand theft.

Two former executives of a Conejo Valley-based company have agreed to plead guilty to participating in a fraud scheme, embezzling millions of dollars.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the defendants agreed to plead guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection to stealing $5 million from iPayment, a payment processor based in Westlake Village.

A former bookkeeper has been ordered to spend a year in jail after prosecutors say she admitted stealing more than $160,000 from a property management company in Santa Barbara County.

Melissa Reynoso worked for Abacus Premier Property Management. Investigators say over the course of several years, Reynoso deposited money in her checking account which was supposedly going to vendors. They say she then falsified records to make it appear the money was going to legitimate vendors.

A Ventura County man has been sentenced to eight months in jail after pleading guilty to a charge he embezzled money from a non-profit community festival.

Prosecutors say Robert Capellini was President of the Camarillo Fiesta Association when he stole more than $25,000. The group, which hosts an annual community festival, receives some funding from the City of Camarillo. Capellini has already paid back more than $24,000 in restitution, with the rest of the money still pending.

A Ventura County woman who served as the financial officer for a local library has been sentenced to four years in state prison for embezzlement.

A former librarian in Ventura County entered a guilty plea to charges that she stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in library funds.

Tammy Jean Ferguson was the financial officer for Blanchard Community Library, which serves Santa Paula. Prosecutors say during an eight year long period, the 55 year old Thousand Oaks woman used a library credit card and a library ATM for personal use. They say she embezzled approximately $500,000.

Ferguson entered guilty pleas to charges of misappropriation of public funds and falsifying public accounts.