San Joaquin County
District Attorney's Office
OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY 222 E. Weber Ave., Room 101, Stockton, CA
P. O. Box 990, Stockton, CA 95201
T (209) 468-2400 | F (209) 465-0371
TORI VERBER SALAZAR District Attorney Kristine M. Reed Assistant District Attorney James Bojko Chief Investigator
News from the Office of District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar
For Immediate Release
January 25, 2017
CONTACT: Stephen E. Taylor, Deputy District Attorney
T: (209) 468-2419 | E: stephen.taylor@sjcda.org

Woman Pleads Guilty in $277K Embezzlement Scheme

On Monday, January 23, 2017, YESENIA RIOS RAMOS, age 40, was jailed pending a state prison sentence. She had earlier on January 12, 2017, pled guilty to Felony Grand Theft and Misdemeanor Identity Theft in an embezzlement case against her longtime employer Zuckerman Farms Inc. of Holt, CA (an unincorporated area West of Stockton, CA in San Joaquin County). She also, at the time of the guilty plea, admitted the allegation that the crime was an Aggravated White Collar Crime under Penal Code ยง 186.11 requiring a prison term.

Mrs. Ramos was the bookkeeper controlling payroll processing and was found to have created "ghosts" on the payroll of her employer. By generating payroll checks in the name of nonexistent workers she took a gross of $277,234.62 from the company in years 2010-2016. The net payroll checks were then taken by her and cashed at various markets in San Joaquin County.

This is a common method of embezzlement in the Agricultural Industry, and there have been other such cases in recent San Joaquin County history involving other companies and other defendants.

This case was brought by Forensic CPA Steven Hoslett (of Stockton and San Diego, CA) and the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Department.

San Joaquin County Sherriff Steve Moore's Agriculture Crimes Unit and Detective Division both work closely with the District Attorney to assist what are mostly family business and small partnerships in recovering from embezzlements. This prosecution is one of a series of large embezzlement cases recently brought to the courts.

Mrs. Ramos will be sentenced at a later date before Superior Court Judge Ron Northup in Dept 35, Stockton, CA. She is currently on No Bail status at the San Joaquin County Jail. Grand Theft is punishable by up to 3 years in State Prison. The sentence is up to the discretion of the court; in this case a prison term of 2 years has been indicated. The District Attorney has been informed that the victims have recovered their losses.

We encourage all San Joaquin County businesses to maintain strong accounting controls such as unscheduled rotation of bookkeeping duties, and checks and balances among employees. In cases of large payrolls, it is a best practice to not allow the same employee making payroll entries to also handle the finished paychecks.

Mrs. Ramos is represented by Attorney Armando Villapudua of Stockton.