Monday, April 27, 2009
Accountant For California Non-Profit Sentenced To 14 Years For Stealing $941K
Medelia Chiong Fernan, 50, of Fountain Valley, California, was sentenced last Thursday to 14 years in prison for embezzling some $941,000 from Community SeniorServ, a non-profit that provides senior services, including "meals on wheels," where she had been employed as finance director. Fernan pleaded guilty to 17 counts of grand theft by embezzlement, admitting she issued some 242 checks to herself in order to pay off personal credit card debts and other personal items. The thefts occurred over a four year period, between 2004 and 2008, according to prosecutors. Fernan had been arrested last November and was considered a flight risk because she had $20,000 in cash in her purse and had recently sold her home. She had originally faced charges that included falsifying corporate records as well as embezzlement, because Fernan allegedly made it appear the checks she issued were for legitimate vendors of the non-profit.