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California bookkeeper sentenced for embezzlement, identity theft charges

Jan 24, 2012 Karen Umpierre

An office manager and bookkeeper at a Visalia, California, soil and concrete level compaction testing company was recently sentenced to five years in prison for embezzlement and identity theft. In addition to receiving jail time, Terry Johnston was ordered to pay nearly $690,000 in restitution to Central Valley Testing, the company where she committed her crimes between 2005 and 2009. Johnston began using company checks and a credit card for personal expenses shortly after she was hired. Purchases included high-end furniture, a pickup truck, an ATV and the remodeling of her home. The Valley Voice added that the identity theft charges are related to her unauthorized use of a signature stamp. In total, she stole more than $660,000. In 2009, after refusing to cooperate with an audit of CVT's records, an internal audit revealed she had forged numerous checks in her name and in the names of her relatives, while also modifying payroll to give herself an unauthorized raise. Only a small portion of the company money used to purchase the items has since been recovered, the Voice notes.