Bookkeeper Held For Allegedly Embezzling Millions
Last Updated: 1736 days ago
A woman who worked as head bookkeeper for a North County custom-woodworking company was arrested Friday on suspicion of embezzling at least $9.9 million from the company over a seven-year period.Annette Yeomans, 51, surrendered to deputies in the late morning and was booked into Vista Detention Center in lieu of $10 million bail, said Sgt. Mark Varnau of the sheriff's Financial Crimes Unit.The alleged thefts came to light about a year ago, when a credit card company notified Yeomans' employer, Quality Woodworks Inc., about numerous suspicious payments to her account made with company checks, Varnau said."A sheriff's investigation revealed that on a weekly basis Yeomans would spend $25,000 on her credit card and then pay off the balance the following Monday with company funds," the sergeant said.Yeomans allegedly used the embezzled money to finance purchases of luxury vehicles, shopping trips to Italy and home remodels, including a conversion of one of her bedrooms into a closet to store her large, lavish wardrobe.Her clothing collection included 400 pairs of shoes valued at $600 each, $300,000 worth of designer garments and 160 purses valued at $2,000 each."The remodeled closet included a granite-covered center island, crystal chandelier and 32-inch plasma television," he said.The suspect also gambled "heavily" at local casinos, incurring extensive losses that were not factored into the nearly eight-figure amount specified in the criminal complaint, according to Varnau.If they had been included, that total might well have exceeded $40 million, he said.The losses forced the company to forego employee raises, lay off some workers and restructure its operations."Clearly, due to her position of trust, Yeomans was able to conceal her crimes for an extended period of time," Varnau said.Since the alleged thefts came to light in February 2008, she has surrendered her Escondido house and most of her other valuables to her former employers.The yearlong delay in her arrest was due to the complexity of investigating the case, the sergeant said."You can imagine trying to cover 10 million dollars over seven years, how long that would take," he added.Varnau said the amount of allegedly embezzled money in the case was the largest of any investigation he had worked on."It's just staggering the amount of money this person went through," he said.