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Law Firm Bookkeeper Allegedly Stole $1.4 Million From Two Law Firms

Law Firm Bookkeeper Allegedly Stole $1.4 Million From Two Law Firms

Shawna Renee Barretto, 39, a bookkeeper and office manager, has been charged with embezzling more than 1.4 million from two law firms and issuing her husband, Roberto Nilo Barretto, 53, unauthorized checks. Barretto is accused of performing fraudulent bookkeeping from 2005-2012 while employed as an office manager and bookkeeper at two law firms. Baretto allegedly used the law firms' money to make unauthorized payments to her personal credit card accounts, opened new lines of credit for credit cards under the law firms' names and hid the fraudulent embezzling in the businesses' computer-based accounting records.

Among the expenses the law firms incurred were private school tuition for Baretto's children and golf club memberships. Roberto Barretto allegedly accepted five fraudulent checks issued by his wife between 2005 and 2008 totaling $10,825. Another employee from the law firms was checking past bank records in May 2012 and discovered discrepancies in the financial records, which were reported to the Irvine Police Department.

Shawna Barretto is charged with 22 felony counts of computer access fraud, 21 felony counts of falsifying records, seven felony counts of grand theft, two felony counts of identity theft, one felony count of theft from elder, with sentencing enhancements for aggravated white collar crime over $100,000, aggravated white collar crime over $500,000, property damage or loss over $65,000, property loss over $200,000, property damage over $1.3 million, money laundering over $50,000 and money laundering over $150,000. Barretto was arrested and was released on a 1.4 million bail. If convicted, Barretto faces 32 years in state prison.

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