A former Sacramento law firm administrator with a penchant for pricey horses will plead guilty to embezzling $1.3 million from her former employer, the U.S. attorney’s office in Sacramento announced Thursday.
Between 2002 and 2008, Regina Schenck, a law firm office manager, used checks drawn on the firm’s accounts to pay off personal credit card expenses totaling more than $1 million, according to documents filed in the Eastern District. The documents did not name the firm, but Sacramento media reports have identified Schenck as a long-time employee of Diepenbrock Harrison.
The ex-administrator also obtained cashier’s checks drawn on the firm’s client trust account to buy five horses and a $40,000 horse trailer. Schenck told firm partners that the checks “were for the benefit of clients,” according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
(And that worked?) There’s more, after the jump.
Schenck also used accessed the firm’s payroll system to boost her own salary, award herself year-end bonuses and boost her health insurance benefits.
“We are grateful to her former employer for stepping up to report her wrongdoing and assisting with the investigation,” U.S. Attorney Lawrence Brown said in a prepared statement.
Under terms of a plea deal filed with the court Thursday (here's a .pdf of the plea deal), Schenck will plead guilty to computer fraud and filing a false tax return. She also agreed to pay $1.3 million restitution to Diepenbrock Harrison. In exchange, the U.S. attorney’s office will recommend a sentence at the low end of the sentencing range.
Schenck is scheduled to be arraigned on Sept. 3.
— Cheryl Miller
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