Camarillo woman sentenced in $750,000 embezzlement case, more


Here's a look at recent incidents and announcements from Ventura County agencies:

Former employee convicted of embezzlement

A Camarillo woman who admitted to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from her employer was sentenced Monday to four years and four months in state prison.

Neydi Garcia, 41, pleaded guilty in May to seven counts of grand theft from his employer, one count of identity theft and one count of filing taxes. false or fraudulent, all felonies, according to the Ventura County District Attorney's Office. She also admitted special allegations and aggravating factors that could result in harsher sentences, including that the crimes were committed with planning and sophistication.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office arrested Garcia in 2020. She had been hired by Thomas “Tom” Staben in 2016 as an office manager and bookkeeper, sheriff’s officials said at the time, and helped manage business and personal accounts. Staben owned several businesses throughout the county. The victim’s CPA noticed discrepancies in bank deposits handled by Garcia and launched an investigation in 2019. Garcia was fired in May of that year. The sheriff’s fraud unit investigated, leading to the 2020 arrest.

During the three years Garcia worked for Staben, she embezzled about $750,000, prosecutors said in Monday’s news release. The activity included unauthorized activity on a business credit card. She took her family on “lavish” vacations to Europe, Mexico, Nashville and Las Vegas, the prosecutor’s office said. She purchased jewelry, items from high-end retailers including Gucci and Chanel, and paid collection agencies. Her employer’s funds were used to pay her mortgage and personal credit cards. She stole money from one of the businesses.

Garcia also fraudulently used a co-worker's information and signature to qualify for a short-term loan to buy a home, prosecutors said.

None of the stolen funds were reported to Garcia state income tax officials.

The initial restitution amount was estimated at $750,000. Garcia repaid $300,000 to her former employer before sentencing. During the sentencing hearing, she was ordered to pay an additional $662,654 to the victim and $221,530 to the California Franchise Tax Board for restitution, interest and penalties, the district attorney's office said.

Garcia remained in the county's Todd Road Jail outside Santa Paula Thursday and will be transported to a state prison in Chowchilla, according to jail and court records.

Man convicted in sexual assault case

A 31-year-old Oxnard man was sentenced to 24 years in state prison in a case involving sexual assault of a minor, authorities said.

Javier Miramontez Jr. pleaded guilty in May to three counts of lewd acts on a minor, according to the Ventura County District Attorney's Office, and admitted to special allegations, including that the victim was vulnerable. Special allegations may result in harsher penalties. He was sentenced on June 11.

In 2013, when Miramontez was about 21 years old, he sexually assaulted a girl between the ages of 7 and 10 multiple times, prosecutors said in a news release. Authorities described her as a family member. The incidents took place at various family events, including trips and sleepovers, and stopped about three years later when the daughter reported the abuse to another family member.

Senior Deputy Prosecutor Edward Andrews said in a statement that the girl and her family spoke during the sentencing hearing about the impact on their lives.

“These crimes depend on secrecy, and I hope others will be encouraged by the victim's courage in coming forward,” Andrews said.

Miramontez has since been transported to Wasco State Prison, according to prison and court records. A restitution hearing is scheduled for the afternoon of Aug. 12 in Room 45 of Ventura County Superior Court.

Articles may be updated.

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