Woman receives five-year sentence for embezzling $736K | News | Palo Alto Online |


Woman receives five-year sentence for embezzling $736K

Former bookkeeper used funds to buy handbags, San Francisco 49ers football season tickets

A woman received five years in prison at her sentencing Thursday for embezzling more than $700,000 from a Palo Alto landscaping company, Santa Clara County prosecutors said.

Guadalupe Ruzic of Los Gatos, appeared at the Palo Alto courthouse for her sentencing hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. today after she pleaded no contest to charges of felony embezzlement and forgery last month, prosecutors said.

Ruzic was an office manager for Pazmany Bros. Landscaping where she used more than $736,000 to purchase Gucci handbags, jewelry, a vacation timeshare and San Francisco 49ers season tickets, according to prosecutors.

She began working as a bookkeeper for the company in 2014. While employed, the 51-year-old used QuickBooks software and a check stamp to write checks for herself, but appeared to be addressed to contractors who were not compensated for their work, the District Attorney's Office said.

The ruse was uncovered in February, prosecutors said.

"The defendant's greed and criminality brought the family-owned business that had employed her to the edge of insolvency," Deputy District Attorney Peter Waite said in the news release.

She will return to court for a restitution hearing on Feb. 5 before Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Vincent Chiarello.


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15 people like this
Posted by Downtown
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 7, 2017 at 11:19 am

Must be quite a landscaping company not to miss over $700K in a 2 year period?? [Portion removed.]

19 people like this
Posted by AlexDeLarge
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 7, 2017 at 12:14 pm

[Post removed.]

11 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of another community
on Dec 7, 2017 at 12:18 pm

The real crime is àll the workers that work for the subcontractors that are getting paid peanuts.

8 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 7, 2017 at 8:41 pm

Disgusting human being, that poor company to have to deal with this. And she only got 5 years?! Our justice system doesn't seem to be doing much justice here!

Like this comment
Posted by Another Tom
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 14, 2017 at 8:49 am

Another Tom is a registered user.

Was there any provision to pay back the money?
Otherwise that is about $150k per year. Not bad.

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