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Woman Sentenced to Jail for Embezzlement
updated: Jan 11, 2017, 5:08 PM

Source: District Attorney of Santa Barbara County

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced today that Superior Court Judge Gustavo Lavayen sentenced 47 year old Melissa Reynoso to one year in county jail and five years' probation for stealing checks totaling $163,750.00 from her former employer Abacus Premier Property Management and for preparing false bank records to cover-up her theft. Reynoso previously pled to one count of grand theft by embezzlement and one count of preparing false documentary evidence. Reynoso also admitted a special allegation that she stole in excess of $100,000.00.

Reynoso, a former real estate agent, worked as a bookkeeper for Abacus Premier Property Management. As part of her duties she wrote checks to vendors and prepared a monthly reconciliation of the company's bank account. Over the course of several years she wrote over $163,750.00 in checks from the company's account, which were deposited into her bank account. To cover-up the theft she falsified the reconciliations to make it appear as if those checks were written to legitimate vendors.

The case was jointly investigated by the Santa Maria Police Department and District Attorney Supervising Investigator Chris Clement. Reynoso will begin serving her sentence on January 13, 2017. The next court date is on February 25, 2017 at which time a Restitution Hearing will be scheduled.


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