More Than $1.1 Million From San Francisco Law Firm Have Been Embezzled By Its Employee Since 2016

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Jairo Tomas Santos was the office manager at the San Francisco law firm and wrote more than $1.1 million in unauthorized checks to himself.

United States Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Robert K. Tripp announced that Jairo Tomas Santos had been charged with bank fraud by a federal grand jury in San Francisco. Santos was arrested on August 4, 2023, and was arraigned in federal court on August 7, 2023.

More Than $1.1 Million From San Francisco Law Firm Have Been Embezzled By Its Employee Since 2016

Santos, 42, formerly of San Mateo, Calif., allegedly embezzled more than $1.1 million from his employer, a San Francisco law firm, where he worked as the office manager, according to the indictment (CR 23-00230 WHA), issued July 25, 2023.

According to the accusation, Santos started his embezzlement scheme in the San Francisco law firm in March 2016 and conducted it until February 2023.

Santos received checks from the San Francisco law firm, filled out the payee line of those checks, addressed them to “Jairo Santos,” and signed each check using the signature of the San Francisco law firm’s senior partner, despite the fact that Santos was not permitted to do so.

Santos subsequently deposited these checks into his Wells Fargo Bank personal bank accounts.

Santos allegedly deposited about 806 illegal checks from the San Francisco law firm made payable to Santos into his personal bank accounts between March 9, 2016, and February 20, 2023.

The unauthorized deposits totaled about $1,191,683.

Furthermore, as part of the defrauding scheme, Santos fabricated and erased general ledger entries for the San Francisco law firm that obscured the fact that the funds were made for Santos’ own use.

According to the accusation, Santos deposited these checks from the San Francisco law firm knowing that they were not authorized by the firm or its senior partner and that they exceeded the amounts he was properly owed by the firm for his salary and expenses.

In total, Santos is charged with three counts of bank fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1344. Santos’ first appearance in federal court in San Francisco is slated on August 22, 2023.

An indictment merely claims the commission of crimes, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

If convicted, Santos faces up to 30 years in jail, a $1,000,000 fine, and restitution, if applicable, for each violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1344.

As part of any sentence, the court may also order an additional term of supervised release to begin following a prison term.

However, any punishment given following conviction would be imposed by the court after the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal legislation controlling sentence imposition, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

The US Attorney’s Office’s Corporate and Securities Fraud Section is prosecuting the case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Christiaan Highsmith, with help from Elizabeth Kim. The prosecution stems from an FBI investigation.

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