News


Two sentenced to prison for embezzling from mosquito district

Two former mosquito district employees convicted of embezzling more than $450,000 from the district were sentenced to state prison Friday.

Jo Ann Dearman, 62, a former financial director of the San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District, was sentenced to eight years in prison and ordered by Judge Jonathan Karesh to pay $502,000 to the district and a $997,000 fine, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Her bookkeeping assistant, Vika Sinipata, 37, was sentenced to four years in state prison and must pay $259,000 in restitution.

Ms. Dearman, who also goes by the alias Joanne Seeney, pleaded no contest in April to 10 felonies in exchange for receiving a sentence of no more than 11 years in prison.

Ms. Sinipata pleaded no contest in February to 12 felony charges.

The two women embezzled the funds between 2009 and 2011 by giving themselves extra pay, higher pay rates, and fraudulent time off, Mr. Wagstaffe said. They also transferred funds into their personal bank accounts and used district credit cards for personal purchases.

Ms. Dearman's attorney Geoff Carr presented a personal check from her to the court in December for $200,000 to partially cover the anticipated restitution.

— Bay City News Service

Comments

Posted by pearl, a resident of another community
on Jan 27, 2014 at 12:18 pm

And to think our taxpayer dollars were paying their salaries!!! Glad they're going to be incarcerated for a loooooong time!!!


Posted by SteveC, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 27, 2014 at 5:32 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

About time!! this case went on too long. Both should have been in jail from day one. Delay after delay after delay. This isn't the first time for Dearman. After the first amount was paid for restitution, she should have started her jail sentence.


Posted by mpcyclist, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 27, 2014 at 6:18 pm

So, Ms. Dearman gets to spend no more than 11 years in prison at the cost of $50,000 a year, doing nothing. That a maximum of $550,000 of taxpayer's money wasted on top of what she embezzled. Good luck on the remaining restitution and the fine. She'll be too broke to even begin paying all that off and too old to get another job ... anywhere. That means the taxpayer will be on the hook again for welfare and Medicaid payments (she already didn't look too well judging by her picture). What bothers me even more is that the higher ups who were supposed to be checking the facts and figures fell down on the job and allowed this situation to go on for years. Their incompetence has cost the taxpayer dearly and yet, they still have a job and will retire with a nice, fat, taxpayer funded pension. So, aside from rejoicing that these miscreants are in the slammer, how does the taxpayer (who paid for the trial as well) fare in all of this? Oh ... let's not even go there even though we know the answer already. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Ask me sometime how I really feel about about our system of county government and our county "manager," if you've got a week or two.


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