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Bookkeeper Embezzles $9.9M, Buys Shoes

A former bookkeeper embezzled $9.9 million, forcing her company to make layoffs while she bought 400 pairs of shoes that she kept in a room-sized closet that contained a crystal chandelier and a plasma television, authorities claimed.

Annette Yeomans, 51, surrendered at the Vista jail on Friday and was booked for investigation of grand theft and embezzlement.

She was being held Saturday at the San Diego County jail in Vista on $10 million bail. It was not immediately clear whether she had an attorney.

Yeomans embezzled the money from 2001 to 2007 while she was chief financial officer for Quality Woodworks, Inc., a cabinetry business in San Marcos, authorities contended.

"On a weekly basis Yeomans would spend $25,000 on her credit card and then pay off the balance the following Monday with company funds," said Sgt. Mark Varnau of the sheriff's Financial Crimes Unit.

The losses went unnoticed and the company never hired an outside auditor to check the books, Varnau said.

"She was bleeding them and then able to cover her tracks" because she had a trusted position, he contended.

However, the company was forced to lay off some workers and restructure some operations because of the losses, Varnau contended.

Investigators contend Yeomans bought luxury cars and made shopping trips to Italy.

She spent at least $240,000 on 400 pairs of shoes, $300,000 on designer clothing and 160 purses valued at $2,000 each, investigators alleged.

A bedroom in her San Marcos home was remodeled into a clothes closet and boasted a granite-covered center island, crystal chandelier and 32-inch plasma television, Varnau said.

Yeomans also gambled heavily at northern San Diego County casinos, Varnau said.

Her husband was a cabinet installer there but was not suspected of any crime, Varnau said.

An investigation began after American Express notified the company in February 2008 that one of its checks had been used to make a payment on Yeomans' account, Varnau said.

Yeomans was fired last year and agreed to turn over her assets to the company, which has recovered about $2 million from the sale of her home, some cars and other property, Varnau said.

Yeomans moved to Escondido, Varnau said.

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