LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com) – A former bookkeeper who embezzled more than $500,000 from a previous employer during a five-year period was sentenced Thursday to two consecutive 12- to 48-month terms in the Nevada Department of Corrections.
Maria Digna Ballesteros, 47, of Las Vegas also was ordered to pay $515,363 in restitution.
Ballesteros pleaded guilty to two counts of embezzlement, both Category “B” felonies, as part of a plea negotiation to resolve multiple felony charges.
“The dedicated investigators and attorneys in the Nevada attorney general’s office will continue to serve Nevada by holding perpetrators, including Ballesteros, accountable,” said Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto.
The complaint filed with the Attorney General’s office alleged Ballesteros had embezzled money from the owner of a Las Vegas-based promotion company. An investigation by the AG’s Fraud Unit revealed that she had forged and cashed more than 225 fraudulent checks and falsified bank records trying to create an illusion that the embezzled funds were never taken.
In 2007, Ballesteros was hired as a part-time bookkeeper. The owner of the business became aware of financial irregularities with his personal and business bank accounts, uncovering that Ballesteros had been forging payroll checks after they were distributed by the company.