For Immediate Release
Case # 12NF1541
May 16, 2012
Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
WOMAN CHARGED WITH STEALING OVER $236,000 FROM EMPLOYER FOR TRIPS, ENGAGEMENT RING, AND FERTILITY TREATMENTS
SANTA ANA – A woman has been arrested and charged with stealing over $236,000 from her employer by fraudulently charging personal expenses to company credit cards including airfare, hotels, an engagement ring, and fertility treatments for her domestic partner. Ligia Baciu, 35, Fullerton, is charged with 21 felony counts of computer access and fraud and three felony counts of fraudulently using access cards with sentencing enhancement allegations for loss over $100,000, aggravated white collar crime over $100,000, and property loss over $200,000. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of up to 20 years and four months in state prison. Baciu is being held on $250,000 bail and will be required to prove bail money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. Baciu is expected to be arraigned tomorrow, May 17, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.
Between August 2005 and October 2009, Baciu is accused of being employed in the accounting department of Sweet Life Enterprises, a subsidiary of Brea-based Fresh Start Bakeries, Inc. The defendant is accused of being responsible for all company credit card accounts.
In February 2008, Baciu is accused of being issued a company credit card to be used for legitimate corporate expenses, such as shipping payments. Baciu is accused of stealing over $236,000 from Fresh Start Bakeries by charging unauthorized personal expenses to her corporate credit card. She is accused of ordering additional company credit and gas cards in her own name with various account numbers.
The defendant is accused of fraudulently using the company credit cards to pay for bills, grocery purchases, restaurants, airline and hotel charges, clothing, and a down-payment on an Audi. She is also accused of fraudulently paying for an engagement ring and fertility treatments for her domestic partner.
The defendant is accused of attempting to conceal her theft by manipulating the company’s financial records to indicate that her purchases had been made by other employees.
The defendant is accused of continuing to make fraudulent purchases on the company credit card after she was no longer employed by Sweet Life in October 2009. She is accused of continuing to steal from the victim until January 2010, when the theft was discovered in an accounting review of the business’ credit card statements.
The Brea Police Department investigated this case and arrested the defendant today, May 16, 2012.
Deputy District Attorney Marc Labreche of the Major Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.