General Crime

Jessica Evans Director of a San Mateo Business Assoc. Pleads No Contest to Embezzlement

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A Burlingame woman accused of using her position as executive director of a San Mateo business group to embezzle $5,000 pleaded no contest Wednesday to a felony charge, prosecutors said. However, the felony embezzlement charge could be reduced to a misdemeanor if Jessica Evans, 41, pays full restitution for her thefts from the Downtown San Mateo Association, according to her plea agreement with the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.

Evans first came to the attention of the association’s executive committee in June 2014 when she was up for a salary review. The salary survey she submitted appeared to be fraudulent and the committee looked into her finances more closely, prosecutors said.

They discovered she had used the association’s checking account and credit cards for personal gain, including spending $600 on a night at a Sausalito resort, paying her personal cellphone bill, writing checks to herself without clear business purposes, buying clothing at Target, purchasing cosmetics, groceries and gasoline and using petty cash to pay her babysitter. She embezzled about $5,000 in all, prosecutors said.

The investigation revealed she had financial difficulties, including maxing out her personal credit card, prosecutors said. Evans left her position with the association last year. She entered the no contest plea to the embezzlement charge in the court of San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Lisa Novak on the condition that she faces no more than 30 days in county jail, according to the district attorney’s office. She is scheduled to be sentenced on March 27. Her defense attorney was not immediately available for comment this morning.

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