Almanac

News - January 29, 2014

Two women 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.

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