Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Company Controller In California Charged With $450K Embezzlement
Cathy Ann Latou, 39, of Santa Barbara, California, and the controller of the Santa Barbara Olive Company, was charged Monday with embezzling some $450,000 from the company. Latou allegedly spent the money on personal items and gambling junkets. Company owners, who alerted police to the thefts after Latou admitted to them that she had taken $360,000, believe she took an additional $90,000 by using a company credit card and accessing company accounts.
Update (1/5/11): Latou was found guilty after pleaded no contest to grand theft by embezzlement charges admitting she embezzled a total of about $517,650 from the Santa Barbara Olive Company where she had been employed. Latou misappropriated the funds primarily by misusing a company credit card but also by forging at least 20 checks. The scheme spanned a period of 28 months - or 2 1/3 years. Latou was sentenced to 8 years in prison - which she is a now appealing.