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January 16, 2012

Woman Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Woodlander of more than $200K (USA)

Woman pleads guilty to embezzling Woodlander of more than $200K
By Democrat Staff
01/14/2012

A Calistoga woman pleaded guilty Friday to embezzling a Woodland woman for more than $200,000.
Denise Ann Conophy, 51, pleaded guilty to embezzlement, elder abuse and tax evasion, according to a news release from District Attorney Jeff Reisig. She admitted she took in excess of $200,000.
Conophy also agreed to the forfeiture of more than $300,000 in cash and property the District Attorney's Office previously seized during the course of the investigation, which is to pay restitution to the victim. The 80-year-old woman moved to Woodland during the seven-year time period the crimes were committed, said Assistant Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael Cabral, who prosecuted the case.
The woman hired Conophy to handle her bookkeeping and other financial affairs relating to a bed and breakfast she operated in St. Helena, Reisig said. Over the course of her seven-year employment, Conophy transferred the victim's assets to various accounts and used them to pay her personal bills as well as to start up an Internet business she was operating.
The victim's family members discovered the crimes when the woman was hospitalized for an extended period of time and her family saw that her assets had been depleted. During the course of the investigation, the State of California Franchise Tax Board discovered the defendant failed to file a state income tax return during an eight-year period and did not report the stolen funds as income.
"Due to the efforts of the Woodland
Police Department, the California Franchise Tax Board and the District Attorney's Life and Annuity Fraud Investigative Unit, we have recovered over $300,000 in direct victim restitution for an elderly victim of our community," Reisig said. "It is a significant accomplishment when we can recover and return a lifetime worth of savings to an elderly victim in our community."
Judge Janet Gaard will sentence Conophy Thursday, March 8. She will be sentenced to a term of 16 months in state prison, Cabral said.


SOURCE:     The Daily Democrat

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