ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Case # 14HF0868
Date: February 6, 2018
*People objected to court offer at the sentencing
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A bookkeeper was sentenced to a court offer of one year in jail and five years of formal probation yesterday of embezzling over $1.3 million from two law firms and issuing unauthorized checks for her own benefit. The People objected to the court offer at the sentencing.
Defendant: Shawna Renee Barretto, 43, Anaheim
Pleaded guilty on June 20, 2017, to the following felony counts:
- (22) Computer access fraud
- (21) Falsifying records
- (7) Grand theft
- (2) Identity theft
- Theft from elder
- Sentencing Enhancements
- Aggravated white collar crime over $500,000
- Property loss over $1.3 million
- 365 days in county jail
- (Credit for Time Served: two years in county jail)
- Five years of formal probation
- Ordered to pay $1.3 million in restitution
Circumstances of the Case
- Between 2005 and 2012, Barretto worked as a bookkeeper and an office manager for two law firms and embezzled over $1.3 million from the law firms through deceptive record-keeping.
- Barretto made unauthorized payments to her personal credit card accounts and opened credit card accounts in the law firms’ names.
- The defendant hid those fraudulent payments by entering false entries in the law firms’ computer-based accounting records and used accounts to make payments on personal expenses including her children’s private school tuition, golf club memberships, and other unauthorized expenses.
- On May 12, 2012, an employee in one of the law firms was reviewing past bank records and discovered discrepancies in the financial records, including unauthorized checks, and reported it to the Irvine Police Department, who investigated this case.
Prosecutor: Deputy District Attorney Tina Patel of the Major Fraud Unit
TONY RACKAUCKAS, District Attorney
Susan Kang Schroeder, Chief of Staff
Michelle Van Der Linden,Spokesperson