Petaluma woman sentenced to 29 months for bank fraud, embezzlement, tax evasion

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A Petaluma accountant was sentenced to 29 months in prison as part of a plea deal for bank fraud, embezzlement and tax evasion, federal prosecutors announced Friday.

Stephanie Simontacchi, 48, is accused of embezzling at least $821,363 while performing her accounting duties at two North Bay businesses – Cavallo Point Lodge and Redwood Credit Union, according to the US Department of Justice.

She was arrested in June last year and charged with seven counts of bank fraud, seven counts of misuse and embezzlement of credit union funds and four counts of tax evasion.

Simontacchi admitted, according to prosecutors, to having received at least $384,363 in accounts payable and receivable checks from the Cavallo Point Lodge in Sausalito where she worked as an accountant between October 2012 and March 2016. Using her signing authority, she deposited 81 of those checks into his personal bank accounts, say federal authorities.

A year after his four-year stint with the Marin County resort, Simontacchi also admitted to misappropriating and misapplying about 35 checks, including canceled cashier’s and government checks to the county-based Redwood Credit Union. of Sonoma, where she worked as an accountant. The embezzlement, which amounted to $437,162, occurred over three years from April 2016, the DOJ claimed.

Redwood Credit Union’s chief financial officer and risk manager, Ron Felder, told the Business Journal on Friday that he was grateful the matter had been resolved.

“The illegal actions of a former employee were discovered in 2019 through our own internal review and cooperation with authorities,” Felder said. “It is important to stress that no losses have been suffered by URC members and that our systems and processes have been strengthened to prevent future incidents and ensure that we continue to protect the financial security of our members. “

Additionally, Simontacchi also admitted to failing to pay taxes between 2014 and 2020.

In addition to the prison sentence, she was ordered to serve three years of post-sentence probation, which she is due to begin serving on August 11.

Susan Wood covers law, cannabis, manufacturing, technology, energy, transportation, agriculture, and banking and finance. For 27 years, Susan worked for various publications, including the North County Times, Tahoe Daily Tribune and Lake Tahoe News. Contact her at 530-545-8662 or [email protected]


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