Mira Mesa woman arrested on embezzlement charges

Accused of taking $1.4M from construction company

ESCONDIDO, Calif. - A Mira Mesa woman is behind bars after being accused of embezzling more than $1.4 million from her previous employer. Investigators say the embezzlement activity happened during the same years when construction companies were hurt by the declining housing market.

Court documents obtained by 10News show that 33-year-old Jeanalyn Grace worked at Wier Construction for more than six years. She was arrested two weeks ago by Escondido Police after an investigation on more than 40 charges including grand theft and embezzlement.

Those court documents show that Grace was trusted to run the books for the North County construction business, but instead is accused of bilking them out of some serious cash. The documents read: "From 2006 to 2012, Jeanalyn Grace embezzled over $1.4 million dollars from her former employer, Wier construction."

"Grace was also responsible for conducting internal audits on the company's books to prevent any errors and/or thefts."

Yet police and investigators believe Grace was behind such thefts.

An investigator found that more than $700,000 went to American Express; $500,000 was paid to USAA Federal Savings Bank; and $200,000 to Navy Federal Credit Union, totaling more than $1.4 million dollars.  The company did not have accounts with the latter banks.

It was less than one month after Grace stopped working for Wier when the owners noticed unauthorized checks paid those accounts. The documents stated: "Instead, the payments were made to six unknown American Express accounts."

Documents also reveal Grace pleaded guilty to stealing $85,000 from another employer more than 10 years ago.

We went to Wier construction to ask about Grace's arrest but instead they issued 10News this statement: "It is truly an unfortunate situation and outcome for all of the parties whom this crime has affected including our business, employees, and all of our families, including Miss Grace's."

No one was at Grace's Mira Mesa home when we tried to talk with family members. She's currently being held at Las Colinas Women’s Detention Center on $1.5 million bail and is expected to be in court in early January.

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