By City News Service
A La Jolla woman who stole nearly $1.5 million from a real estate development company where she worked as a bookkeeper was sentenced July 24 to nearly six years in state prison.
Jennifer Lyndi Davey, 64, was also ordered by Vista Superior Court Judge Kimberlee Lagotta to pay more than $1.487 million in restitution.
Davey was arrested in February and pleaded guilty two months later to grand theft and forgery.
She had been under investigation since early 2008, when the bookkeeper who succeeded her at Beckman Properties in Solana Beach discovered a fraudulent account the defendant had set up to funnel stolen funds from the firm, said sheriff’s Sgt. Mark Varnau.
While employed as accountant and operations manager at Beckman, Davey altered or forged 332 checks drawn against company accounts, used company business funds to pay off her credit cards, and created phony credit card statements to cover her thefts, according to Varnau.
Davey — whose position gave her access to banking information to five business entities operated by Beckman — created a fake business account under the name Professional Advisors Unlimited and transferred the stolen funds into it, the sergeant said.
Her employers eventually fired Davey in late 2007 over unrelated job performance issues prior to the discovery of the embezzled funds, Varnau said.
He said the investigation took nearly four years to complete because the case was financially complicated.
Davey used the stolen money to support a lavish lifestyle, which included trips and the purchase of jewelry, Varnau said.