So­lar eclipse helps un­mask pos­si­ble $858K em­bez­zle­ment

Ripon Bulletin - - Front Page - VINCE REMBULAT

STOCK­TON — Last month’s par­tial so­lar eclipse ap­par­ently tripped up a Man­teca wo­man ac­cused of em­bez­zling $885,081 from her em­ployer.

Jana Marie Bolter sur­ren­dered to San Joaquin County Su­pe­rior Court fol­low­ing an ar­rest war­rant is­sued last Fri­day on charges of two counts of felony grand by

em­bez­zle­ment.

The District At­tor­ney’s Of­fice re­ported Wed­nes­day that Bolter, 49, of Man­teca, for­merly known as Jana Marie Le­merond, is a for­mer em­ployee of Brown Sand Inc. of Lathrop.

She’s ac­cused in Count 1 of steal­ing in the ex­cess of $878,770 through fraud­u­lent en­tries in the com­pany’s pay­roll sys­tem, from 2010 through 2017.

Bolter is also ac­cused in Count 2 of us­ing her po­si­tion with the com­pany, from 2009 through 2017, to charge gift cards to the com­pany’s charge ac­count at Sta­ples Of­fice Sup­ply Co., tak­ing an ad­di­tional $6,310 of gift cards for such mer­chants as South­west Air­lines, Bed, Bath & Be­yond, Chili’s, Toys R Us, Ap­ple­bee’s, Pan­era Bread, Ama­zon, Olive Gar­den, Star­buck’s, and Regal Cin­e­mas, all for per­sonal unau­tho­rized use.

In all, Bolter is ac­cused of us­ing her po­si­tion with the com­pany to take over $885,081 for her­self be­yond her own salary and ben­e­fits. She’s been with the firm for over 25 years, ris­ing to her po­si­tion as Con­troller.

Brown Sand Inc. re­port­edly dis­cov­ered the em­bez­zle­ment when Bolter took off work briefly to view last month’s so­lar eclipse. In her ab­sence an­other em­ployee re­port­edly took no­tice of du­pli­cate pay trans­ac­tions in the pay­roll, trig­ger­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The charges in this case are ac­cu­sa­tions, the DA’s Of­fice said.

Bolter, who is rep­re­sented by at­tor­ney Gil Somera of Stock­ton, is pre­sumed not guilty of these ac­cu­sa­tions un­less and un­til the con­trary is proved in court.

She was taken into cus­tody pend­ing fur­ther pro­ceed­ings with her bail set at $1 mil­lion.

Her court date is sched­uled for Mon­day, Oct. 2, at 8:30 a.m. in Depart­ment 8-B of Su­pe­rior Court.

District At­tor­ney Tori Ver­ber Salazar has asked the busi­ness com­mu­nity to main­tain strong ac­count­ing con­trols which in­clude ap­pro­pri­ate checks and bal­ances on pay­roll, ac­counts payable, bank ac­counts and com­pany credit cards.

She noted that it’s good ac­count­ing prac­tice to ro­tate book­keep­ing du­ties among em­ploy­ees so no one em­ployee keeps sole con­trol of ac­count­ing func­tions for ex­tended times.

The DA’s Of­fice con­tin­ues to see in­creased num­bers of such cases in small and fam­ily-owned busi­nesses, in par­tic­u­lar, where a sin­gle per­son is al­lowed to con­trol com­pany ac­count­ing func­tions with­out au­dits and ac­count­ing con­trols.

Pe­ri­odic un­sched­uled ro­ta­tion of job du­ties may help break up and ex­pose wrong­do­ing.

Brown Sand Inc., for­tu­nately, had in­sur­ance to cover the losses.

This case was brought by the San Joaquin Sher­iff’s De­tec­tive Divi­sion along with Foren­sic Ac­coun­tant Steven Hoslett of Stock­ton.

Bolter

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