FROM:
Al Weger, Assistant District Attorney   CONTACT PERSON:
Scott Tsui, Deputy District Attorney
Major Fraud Unit
(408) 792-2804   For Release on October 25, 2002     FORMER EMPLOYEE OF NETWORK ASSOCIATES INC. PLEADS GUILTY TO EMBEZZLEMENT   On October 25, 2002, in the Santa Clara County Superior Court, the former Accounts Payable Supervisor of Network Associates Inc., Mary Lapuz, 35, of San Jose, pled guilty to embezzlement from the company. Lapuz misappropriated company funds in an approximate amount of $260,000.00 over two and a half years.   As the Accounts Payable Supervisor, Lapuz was in charge of the company’s American Express Corporate Credit Card Program. The program allows Network Associates employees to open American Express credit card accounts. Lapuz wrongfully opened as many as ten such accounts under her name, and under the names of her partner and her mother, neither of whom were employees of Networks Associates. These American Express cards were then used to charge large amounts of personal purchases, such as high-end clothing, travel, hotel expenses, jewelry, electronics, art, home improvement item, and a sports utility vehicle.   To pay the credit card bills for these fraudulent accounts, Lapuz used old company expense statements to generate company checks payable to American Express. Thereafter, Lapuz placed, on these checks, account numbers of the fraudulent accounts and then forwarded the checks to American Express. As a result, American Express would credit the fraudulent accounts with these checks.   Lapuz’s activities first came to light in May of 2002, when Network Associates noticed that the company had made $30,000 in payments to Lapuz’s American Express card account in a three-week period while Lapuz had incurred no business expenses. An audit followed, and Lapuz was terminated soon thereafter. The embezzlement was reported to the Santa Clara Police Department Financial Crimes Division, and later referred to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office Major Fraud Unit for prosecution.   Charges for embezzlement were filed against Lapuz in June of 2002. She was soon arrested and arraigned, and her bail set at $200,000. Lapuz will be sentenced on November 15, 2002. She faces up to 5 years in state prison and will be ordered to pay full restitution to Network Associates Inc.   ###

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