General Crime

* Claudia Prior Hayward woman convicted of embezzling money from Hughston Engineering to pay restitution

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A 37-year-old Hayward woman who was convicted of embezzling money from a Brisbane engineering firm has been ordered to repay nearly $80,000 in restitution, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office. While she was employed at Hughston Engineering, Claudia Prior admitted she used a company credit card for her personal needs, including hundreds of purchases at Starbucks, Safeway and various drug stores.

Prior also used the company credit cards to purchase gift cards, which she used for herself, according to the district attorney’s office. Prosecutors said Prior paid the credit card bills by forging signatures on company checks. By the time the company partners fired Prior in July 2011, she had stolen an estimated $93,000.

In September, Prior pleaded no contest to felony counts of embezzlement and identity theft and was sentenced to nine months in jail and five years probation.The court Tuesday, Prior was ordered to pay $78,894 in restitution, according to the district attorney’s office.

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