two arrested for stealing $2.6 million from software firm

Asian behaving badly... super embezzlement edition! This week in San Fracisco, Maria Lourdes B. Dionisio and Hannah Yau were arrested and charged with embezzlement after allegedly writing $2.6 million in bonus checks to themselves over a four-year period at a software company: 2 held in $2.6 million theft from software firm.

The investigation started shortly after Dionisio filed for unemployment insurance in May after she was fired from the firm for unrelated reasons. Dionisio listed annual pay of nearly $450,000, waaaaay above her $63,000 salary. From the district attorney's press release:
Maria Lourdes B. Dionisio, age 46, of Pacifica, is charged with violating Penal Code sections 487(a), grand theft, 508, embezzlement, and 502 (c)(1)(A) and 502(c)(1)(B), computer use crimes, all felonies. Hannah Yau, age 56, of Fremont, is charged with violating Penal Code sections 487(a), grand theft, and 508, embezzlement.

According to court documents, defendant Dionisio, a payroll clerk, and
defendant Yau, a financial analyst, were formerly employed by Autonomy,
Inc., a San Francisco software programming firm based in England. The two
defendants allegedly caused or permitted many checks to be wrongfully
issued to themselves over a four year period, resulting in a loss of
approximately $2,600,000.

The alleged conduct came to the attention of corporate officers when
defendant Dionisio was fired in May 2010, for reasons unrelated to theft.
When she filed for unemployment insurance, defendant Dionisio listed an
annual salary of $449,740, far in excess of her base salary of $63,000. An
investigation revealed that bonus checks far in excess of those authorized
had been paid to defendant Dionisio, who caused the checks to be drafted,
and to defendant Yau, who also received checks herself, but did not alert
her employer of the theft.

"This case involves an employee who allegedly embezzled from her company
and then brazenly claimed her ill-gotten gains as legal compensation in
order to inflate her unemployment benefits," said District Attorney Harris.
"The company impacted by the alleged conduct did the right thing in coming
forward to report this case to authorities."

The defendants were arrested on July 28, 2010 in San Francisco. Bail was
set in the arrest warrant at $1,000,000 for each defendant. The
defendants are scheduled to be arraigned in San Francisco Superior Court on
Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 9:00 am.
Crafty, sneaky schemes! Also, an extremely stupid way to get caught. Seriously? Stealing over a million bucks then claiming the money you stole to inflate your unemployment benefits?

The maximum statutory penalty for each of the counts is three years in state prison and restitution. Excessive taking allegations may increase the state prison time by an additional three years.

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