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A former business manager for the Sonoma Golf Club was sentenced Wednesday to one year in Sonoma County Jail for embezzling more than $390,000 from the club.Lidia Montano, 53, of Santa Rosa, pleaded no contest to grand theft and admitted embezzling more than $200,000 between 2007 and 2010, Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch said.
The exact loss was $392,735.41. Montana was fired when Sonoma Golf Club officials discovered the embezzlement in 2010, Ravitch said. Montano was on vacation in Italy when the club was notified of financial irregularities by its payroll compnay, Ravitch said. An audit determined that the embezzlement began in July 2007 and ended when Montano was fired, Ravitch said.
Montano embezzled the money by increasing her pay rate through the payroll company without authorization and by paying her personal expenses, including credit card bills and income taxes, through company accounts, Ravitch said. The club is located at 17700 Arnold Drive in Sonoma. The district attorney’s office argued for a prison sentence, but Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Virginia Marcoida suspended a five-year prison term and sentenced Montano to the county jail term and three years’ probation, Ravitch said. Marcoida cited Montano’s age and lack of previous criminal history and ordered her to pay restitution, Ravitch said.
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