A former credit union manager pleaded guilty to one charge of embezzlement and one count of bank fraud in US District Court in Los Angeles. Jolina Monique Sanchez, who has a history of embezzlement and fraud, was accused of stealing nearly $300,000 from two small businesses after she had been indicted for stealing $300,000 from the Azusa City Employees Federal Credit Union.
Sanchez worked for AEFCU as a manager from 2012 to 2013. During that time, Sanchez issued checks to herself from both the credit union’s general fund and from the accounts of credit union members. She directed credit union funds to an account in her mother’s name. Her mother was not involved in the fraud, and was unaware of the account. She also used funds in that account to write checks for deposit to other accounts she controlled or had access to.
AEFCU hired Sanchez after she had passed a background check conducted by the NCUA, however Sanchez had been arrested for grand theft and forgery in 2006 after she deposited forged checks from a former employer into her account. She was also accused of stealing $50,000 from the California Philharmonic in 2009, when she worked there as a bookkeeper. The 2006 case against her was dropped due to prosecutorial delays, and the California Philharmonic agreed not to press charges against her if she repaid $40,000 within 30 days of the agreement, which she did.
In February 2013, the NCUA advised AEFCU that the credit union hire an outside auditor, after finding irregularities in the credit union’s books. Sanchez was fired in July 2013 and was indicted in July 2014. Following her dismissal from the credit union, Sanchez was hired by Evan Franco, and began writing business checks worth a total of $265,000 to herself and others without approval. She was fired in August 2015, but was hired almost immediately by ClearChoice Windows, where she again began writing checks from the business to herself and others to whom she owed money.
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Photo Credit: Calvin Ogawa, via Flickr.com