The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office announced charges against two people in separate cases of embezzling a total of nearly $800,000.
Both people charged – Julie Amador, 46, of San Jose, and Shannon Marie Cardenas, 44, of Dublin – spent the money they took on personal expenses such as shopping, vacations, rent and phone bills, according to a Tuesday press release.
Cardenas is to be arraigned today and Amador is still at large, according to the DA’s office.
Cardenas is suspected of embezzling more than $490,000 over an 18-month period while working as a controller with Urban Pacific Construction Inc. in San Jose.
Amador is alleged to have embezzled over $300,000 between March 2018 and January 2020, while working as an office manager at Thync Global, Inc. in Los Gatos. Prosecutors allege Amador charged many personal items to the company credit card and then provided the owners of the company with false balance statements concealing her activity.
The DA's Office suggests the following steps to prevent embezzlement:
- Set up dual authority so oversight is built into the handling of finances (i.e., employee handling accounting is not the same employee in charge of writing checks).
- Run background checks for people who handle finances.
- Hire a CPA firm do a sampling of transactions on a regular interval.
- If you have a business with a high amount of cash transactions, keep good records, exercise high scrutiny and/or oversight, and/or consider converting to a non-cash business.
- When you discover an employee has been stealing, report it immediately to the police.