Tuesday, September 27, 2011

California Woman Charged With Embezzling $712K From Church

Eleanor Jane Zapanta, 51, of Guerneville, California, has been arrested and charged with embezzling $712,948 from the Center for Spiritual Living of Santa Rosa church where she had served as business manager.  According to prosecutors, Zapanta wrote more than 250 unauthorized checks to herself or her own benefit over a period of at least 6 years, from 2004 to 2010.  She has been charged with 7 felony counts of grand theft by an employee, 7 counts of forging business documents with a white-collar crime enhancement for fraud in excess of $500,000.  Zapanta faces up to 12 years in state prison, if convicted.  The embezzlement is believed to be the largest in Northern California this year.

Read the story here and here.

Hat tip: Fraudtalk reader Joe and reader Cheryl.

Update (10/10/11): Zapanta has plead not guilty to the charges.

Update (3/12/12): Zapanta has agreed to a plea agreement, pleading guilty to embezzling nearly $713,000 and has been sentenced to 6 years in prison.

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