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Couple ordered to pay $1.4 million for embezzlement

March 6, 2010 1:09:50 PM PST
A woman was sentenced to 10 years in state prison and ordered to pay more than $1.4 million in restitution this week after she was convicted of embezzling her former employer over a seven-year period, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office.

In addition to the jail time, Desiree Herrera was ordered on Tuesday to pay $1.43 million to her former employer, plus $180,000 in back taxes, penalties and investigation costs.

She admitted to stealing more than $1.3 million from the company, Payless Hardware and Rockery in San Jose, the District Attorney's Office said.

Herrera's husband Ruben was also sentenced to one year in county jail. The two pleaded no contest on Feb. 3 to one count of grand theft, three counts of filing fraudulent tax returns and nine counts of money laundering.

Between 2002 and 2009, Herrera worked as an accounts receivable clerk at Payless Hardware, where she collected the store's sales receipts and prepared them for deposit into the company bank account.

During that time, she skimmed from the cash receipts before they were taken to the bank for deposit, the District Attorney's office said.

The San Jose Police Department and California Franchise Tax Board conducted the investigation after Herrera's employer noticed discrepancies between company sales receipts records and bank deposit records.


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