​NEWS RELEASE

FROM:
Amy Cornell, Public Information Officer   CONTACT PERSON:
Amy Cornell, Public Information Officer
(408) 792-2997   For release on March 4, 2010     CLERK CONVICTED FOR EMBEZZLING OVER $1.4 MILLION FROM EMPLOYER AND SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS IN PRISON   A Santa Clara County Judge on Tuesday sentenced Desiree Herrera to ten years in state prison for embezzling from her employer, County Building Materials dba Payless Hardware and Rockery, between 2002 and 2009. The court also sentenced Herrera’s husband, Ruben Herrera to one year in the county jail. The court ordered Desiree and Ruben Herrera to pay restitution in the amount of $1.429 million to the victim business, and to pay over $180,000 in back taxes, penalties, interest and costs of investigation to the California Franchise Tax Board. Desiree and Ruben Herrera pleaded no contest on February 3 to one count of Grand Theft, three counts of Filing a False Tax Return, and nine counts of Money Laundering. Desiree Herrera also had admitted an allegation that she had taken an excess of $1.3 million.   Desiree Herrera was employed as an accounts receivables clerk at Payless Hardware and Rockery in San Jose. She was required to collect the store’s daily cash receipts and to prepare them for deposit into the company bank account. Desiree Herrera embezzled money by skimming from the cash receipts before they were taken to the bank for deposit. Her employer discovered the theft by noting discrepancies between company records indicating the amount of money obtained from customers at the cash registers, and records indicating the amount of money actually deposited. After Desiree Herrera had embezzled the cash, she and her husband would launder some of it through their private bank account. They would spend the stolen money on things such as remodeling their home and gambling. However, they failed to pay taxes on the money, as required by law. Company records indicate that Desiree Herrera embezzled approximately $550,000 in 2007, approximately $550,000 in 2008, and approximately $200,000 in the first seven months of 2009.   After the initial complaint by Desiree Herrera’s employer, Sergeant Dean Ackemann of the San Jose Police Department and Special Agent Tomek Samlik of the California Franchise Tax Board conducted the investigation.    ### 

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