Former Modesto Bee worker gets jail time for embezzlement

rahumada@modbee.comJune 25, 2013 

    Rosalio Ahumada
    Title: Courts reporter
    Coverage areas: Criminal cases, breaking news
    Bio: Rosalio Ahumada has been a reporter at The Bee for more than seven years, previously covering crime and public safety issues. He also has worked at the Merced Sun-Star, covering education.
    Recent stories written by Rosalio
    On Twitter: @ModBeeCourts

— A former accounting manager at The Bee has pleaded no contest to one count of embezzlement for stealing more than $11,000 from the newspaper.

As part of a plea deal, the judge on Monday sentenced Aundrea Marie Cordoba to serve a year in Stanislaus County Jail and three years of probation, according to Stanislaus County District Attorney Birgit Fladager.

The judge ordered the defendant to pay $11,587 in restitution for the money prosecutors said she stole from her former employer. Fladager said Cordoba, 37, is scheduled to start serving her jail sentence Sept. 24.

Authorities said Cordoba transferred money from The Bee's credit card account into her credit card accounts, according to an arrest affidavit filed June 20, 2012.

An investigative analyst hired by the newspaper discovered the financial irregularities April 14, 2009, according to Modesto police Detective Sebron Banks, who wrote the affidavit.

Cordoba and another employee had access to make the credit card transactions. The detective learned that the other employee was not at work when the transactions were made, but the other employee's access code was used three times to gain access to the software program to process transactions. The detective wrote in the affidavit that Cordoba was a manager in the newspaper's finance department and had access to the other employee's code.

Authorities discovered money was transferred nine times from the company's business account to Cordoba's three personal credit card accounts, according to the affidavit.

Cordoba worked at The Bee for nine years in the accounting department until 2009. Company officials have declined to discuss her departure. The affidavit indicates that Cordoba was fired after managers questioned her about the suspicious credit card transactions. She denied making the transactions to investigators or having any knowledge about the missing money, according to the affidavit.

Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at (209) 578-2394.

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