Formal sentencing for a former mosquito district financial director who embezzled more than $450,000 was delayed a fifth time this morning in San Mateo County Superior Court, but this time Jo Ann Dearman will await her next court date in her county jail cell, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. Dearman, 62, was remanded to custody this morning. She had been free from custody on $250,000 bail since pleading no contest in April to 10 felonies in exchange for no more than 11 years in prison, Wagstaffe said.
Dearman, who also goes by the alias Joanne Seeney, along with her bookkeeping assistant Vika Sinipata, 37, embezzled the funds between 2009 and 2011. During the two years, the duo embezzled the money by giving themselves extra pay, higher pay rates and fraudulent time off, according to the district attorney. The women also made electronic transfers to their personal bank accounts and used district credit cards for personal purchases.
A member of the mosquito district’s board of trustees noticed the expense overages, which resulted in its investigation. Sinipata, who is facing a maximum of eight years in prison, remains in custody in lieu of $150,000. She pleaded no contest to 12 felonies on Feb. 25, according to court documents. Dearman’s attorney, Geoff Carr, this morning presented the court with a $200,000 personal check to pay partial restitution with the promise of an additional $50,000 by Dearman’s next court date on Jan. 17, according to the district attorney. “We’ll see if the check is good or if it’ll bounce like a basketball,” Wagstaffe said. The two women are scheduled to return to court on Jan. 17 at 8:45 a.m. before Judge Jonathan Karesh for imposition of sentence and order for restitution.
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