Truckee woman charged with embezzlement
In what prosecuting attorneys are calling one of the worst cases of embezzling they have ever seen, a Truckee woman is facing up to seven years in jail for embezzling roughly $400,000 from her employer during a five-year period, while at the same time facing civil charges. Last week, Flori Yarborough White of Glenshire pled no contest to criminal charges in a Placer County courthouse and is currently in an Auburn jail awaiting sentencing. The civil case, which required White and her husband to sign over most of their property to her former boss, is almost settled, according to attorneys involved in the case.White, who was first arrested in August 2004 in the criminal case, originally faced 28 felony counts of embezzlement and grand theft for taking more than $100,000, one for each illegal transaction she did while employed as the bookkeeper and office manager at Waterworks Radiant Heat & Custom Plumbing in Truckee from 1999 to 2003.The counts were merged into five counts, one for each year that she was embezzling, according to Placer County Deputy District Attorney Chris Cattran. White entered a plea of no contest to all five felony counts last Tuesday and will be sentenced May 23.On Monday, the civil case, which was filed in a Nevada County court in Truckee, was nearing completion after the deed to the Whites house was transferred to Waterworks owners Brian and Bonny McDermott. The prosecution received a judgment in December for $750,000 against both Flori and her husband, Michael, according to attorney Greg Shanley, who is representing the McDermotts in the civil case. The judgement includes $500,000 in punitive damages and $250,000 in compensatory damages.No criminal charges were filed against Michael.Although Shanley said that Flori admits no wrongdoing, the evidence against her was overwhelming, he said. Bank records showed that Flori reportedly had taken $60,000 from the Waterworks account to pay her mortgage over 18 months. The payments ranged from $3,200 to $3,500 a month. Flori also reportedly used the business account, either by writing checks, making large cash withdrawals or using the company credit card, to buy a $40,000 Ford Excursion, four ATVs and a 27-foot trailer, an $8,000 hot tub, five snowmobiles and a trailer, a boat and trailer, a living room couch and love seat, among others.Most of the property was seized in June after the Placer County Sheriffs Department received a search warrant. Shanley said he was able to prove that Flori embezzled $340,000 in five years from Waterworks.Ive never seen a case like this, no one Ive talked to has, said Shanley. The first question is: How could this go on so long? And the second question is: How did she think she could get away with this?Both Shanley and Cattran said that Flori was able to go undetected for so long because she was able to manipulate the Waterworks books to cover up the thefts.When a bookkeeper has unfettered access to a business bank account and things like that, its hard to control them because as a business owner you want to trust your bookkeeper and if theyre good at hiding stuff, unless you really get in there, youre going to miss stuff, Cattran said.Lawyer Christina Griffith, who represented Flori and Michael in the civil case, and John Kennelly, Floris attorney in the criminal case, both declined to comment for this article. This is not the first time Flori has been charged with embezzling or grand theft. In 1982, she was arrested for stealing around $45,000 from a Quincy auto dealership while employed there as a bookkeeper from 1979 to 1981. While awaiting trial in that case, she was charged with taking around $2,500 from the Plumas County Board of Realtors, where she worked as a part-time bookkeeper in 1982. Flori pled no contest to both charges but did not serve jail time.Most of the Whites property, including their house and vehicles, was transferred to the McDermotts as part of the settlement. Shanley estimated that the McDermotts will get back about $500,000 worth of property, which does not cover the estimated $100,000 they spent on attorney and accountant fees.The good thing is that they [the Whites] spent the money on toys that we can get back or on home improvements, Shanley said.The Whites, who have three children, are currently renting their house from the McDermotts. According to court documents, they have until the end of June to find another place to live.While facing up to seven years in state prison, DA Cattran said Flori will most likely get four years.
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