Las Cruces woman sentenced to prison for embezzlement - Albuquerque Journal

Las Cruces woman sentenced to prison for embezzlement

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

A Las Cruces woman who authorities say embezzled more than $1 million from a transportation company has been sentenced to prison.

Sandra Roberto, 44, was sentenced to four years and three months in prison by U.S. District Judge Margaret Strickland on Thursday. She pleaded guilty on Jan. 29 to one count of wire fraud and willfully making and subscribing a false and fraudulent individual tax return.

Roberto worked in the accounting office of Mesilla Valley Transportation, and from 2011 to 2018, she used her position to embezzle about $1.3 million, U.S. Attorney spokesman Scott Howell said in a news release.

Officials said Roberto used two third-party payment processors – Comdata and Electronic Funds Source – to pull off the embezzlement.

“Roberto would load cash advances onto debit cards used by MVT drivers, then contact Comdata or EFS for authorization codes to remove extra funds from the cards,” the news release states. “Roberto would then use blank checks obtained from Comdata or EFS, enter the authorization codes and deposit the funds directly into her own bank account.”

According to the release, Roberto deposited a total of 1,735 checks into her account during a seven-year span. MVT discovered the embezzlement in 2018.

Roberto acknowledged in her plea agreement that she did not report any of the embezzled funds to the Internal Revenue Service. As a result, she owes a total of $250,473 in taxes, according to the news release. She also agreed to pay $1.3 million in restitution back to Mesilla Valley Transportation.

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