The former director of the Simi Valley Community Foundation pleaded guilty to embezzlement . The investigation into the suspected embezzlement at the non-profit began last July. Investigators claim that the former director, Joanne Abruzzese, of Simi Valley, stole more than $45,000 from the Foundation.
Abruzzese pleaded guilty to grand theft and forgery last month. As part of the plea agreement, she could spend nearly four years in prison. She will also pay restitution. Abruzzese indicated that she planned to pay full restitution prior to her sentencing in July.
According to investigators, Abruzzese used the Foundation’s money to pay her personal mortgage. She began working for the Foundation in 2012 and took over as the director in 2014. While working as the director, Abruzzese wrote checks from the Foundation to her mortgage holder, and forged a second signature on the organization’s checks.
The embezzlement interrupted plans to bring a number of non-profit agencies together in one location as part of an initiative known as Under One Roof. Whether and how the initiative will go forward remains unclear.
Simi Valley embezzlement attorney
First and foremost, embezzlement is a financial crime. At the same time, it can have significant, negative impact on the victims. The primary goal of justice in these cases is to return the victims to their previous position. Punishment is also likely, but the court must balance punishment with the need to make the victim whole again. That’s why you need the assistance of an experienced embezzlement attorney, if you’re facing this kind of charge.
An experienced attorney can work with the court and the prosecutor to reduce or eliminate charges against you. This may limit the impact of a conviction on you, while ensuring that the victim’s needs are also addressed.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County embezzlement case.
Photo Credit: Dustin Moore, via Flickr.com