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
April 14, 2017
CONTACT: Stephen E. Taylor, Deputy District Attorney
T: (209) 468-2419 | E: stephen.taylor@sjcda.org

Former HR Manager of Lodi Firm Arrested and Held on $1,000,000 Bail

RIPON, CA - Today the Ripon California Police Department served an arrest warrant on CATHERINE ANN BLEWETT (DOB July 1967) aka CATHY ORTEGA-McMURRAY, aka CATHERINE ANN McMURRY, aka CATHERINE ANN McMURRAY at her current employer Guntert & Zimmerman Company in Ripon, where she was working through a temporary services agency. Bail has been set by San Joaquin Superior Court Judge Warner at $1,000,000.00.

In a Criminal Complaint filed in San Joaquin Superior Court, Lodi Branch, April 11, Mrs. Blewett is accused of obtaining employment at RPM Company (Apartment Management Services) of Lodi July, 2013 through December 2016, as an HR Manager by using a social security number belonging to a stranger living in San Pablo, CA, and using the false name of Catherine Ann McMURRAY rather than her true former name of Catherine Ann McMurry. Under her former name, Mrs. Blewett was sent to prison by San Joaquin Superior Court in 2008 for embezzlement of $57,000 from Pacific Coast Industries of Tracy, where she previously worked as an HR Manager. She was previously convicted in Federal Court for a $575,639.85 embezzlement from the Zomax Co. of Fremont, CA, and was sentenced to Federal Prison after her Tracy Case. Under her MURRY name she has other convictions in Hayward, Livermore, and Stockton going back to 1988.

The burglary charge is predicated that she entered her Lodi employer's premises planning to steal and to commit felonies as she worked using the false ID of McMurray to conceal her previous history and evade the employer's background check. She is accused to stealing a computer from the Lodi Employer, using the social security and tax identify information of the complaining witness from San Pablo who states she doesn't know BLEWETT or how her ID was acquired by BLEWETT. It is asserted she would not have been hired under her real identity because she was subject to (and told of) a background and criminal records check, which would prove fruitless using the false information she provided the employer to be hired and employed under. Upon search by Lodi Police of BLEWETT's Exeter Drive, Manteca residence, Mrs. Blewett was caught in possession of an PG&E Bill from a RPM Employee altered for identity theft use - and the missing company computer.

The filing of the above criminal charges against Mrs. Blewett are allegations, and she is presumed not guilty of them unless and until a conviction ensues in court.

In this case, the RPM Company has now made required written Notices of Potential Identity Theft to their associates. As HR Manager, Mrs Blewett had access to a great deal of information about other people.

This District Attorney warns employers to verify the identity of prospective employees to avoid criminals invading workplaces, especially those workplaces where personal information of a large number of people are handled such as medical care, or as in this case, tenant and employee personal information. Prospective employers may carefully examine government issued identification noting the exact spelling and previous names listed, and compare the applicant's asserted information with employer credit bureau reports noting mismatched addresses, name spellings, Social Security numbers and the listings of previous employers not disclosed by the applicant.

If there is any information about Mrs. Catherine Blewett (Cathy McMurry) that should be made known to the investigators, please contact Lodi Police Department Detective Adam Lockie at 209-334-5610.

COPY OF COMPLAINT: Blewett Complaint.PDF

EDIT: This press release was edited on 17-Apr-2017 to include disclaimer on guilt.