Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Another Serial Embezzler, This One A California Bookkeeper, Sentenced

Lina Hinds, 39, formerly of Concord, California, was sentenced to six years in prison after pleading no contest to felony embezzlement charges in San Mateo County Superior Court, California. Hinds, who was awaiting trial in three separate embezzlement cases, also plead guilty to excessive taking, committing a new crime while out on bail and having a prior prison commitment. According to prosecutors, between May 1 and July 11, 2006, Hinds embezzled $225,841 from a flooring company based in Foster City, California where she was employed as a controller. She used the proceeds in part to put a down payment on a home. After being confronted, Hinds reportedly offered to pay the money back, but failed to do so. The authorities were notified in October 2006 and she was charged with the thefts. Hinds is reported to have a 1999 grand theft conviction in Los Angeles County for which she served prison time. At the time of the Foster City case, Hinds was out on bail in a pending embezzlement case from Alameda County. According to reports, Hinds was able to get a job at Publisher’s Group West in Berkley, California, while on bail and proceeded to steal some $300,000 from that employer. According to prosecutors, Hinds failed to make a court appearance, breaking her bail, and was ultimately arrested in Washington State, after she had managed to get hired by Sun Precautions, in Everett, Washington and stealing nearly $40,000 from them to purchase a Chevrolet Trailblazer. She was using the alias "Jackie Chu" in Washington. Authorities in Washington seized fake Social Security cards, credit cards and rental agreements, and even a phony badge indicating that she was a criminal investigator for the U.S. Department of Treasury.

Read the story here, here and here.

This is an amazing story. Hinds is clearly certifiable, but by the same token a true menace to society. Six years seems light to me in light of her past and present actions. If any reader gets a mug shot of Hinds, please forward it as we'd love to post it.

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