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North Bay woman sentenced for embezzling from employers, tax evasion

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PETALUMA – A Petaluma woman has been sentenced to federal prison after pleading guilty to embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from her employers, along with tax evasion.

According to U.S. Attorney Stephanie Hinds' office, 48-year-old Stephanie Simontacchi was sentenced to 29 months in prison in connection with the schemes. Simontacchi has also been ordered to pay $821,525.52 in restitution.

Simontacchi served as a bookkeeper and controller at Cavallo Point Lodge in Sausalito from 2009 through 2016. According to her plea agreement, Simontacchi admitted stealing 81 checks intended for the hotel totaling $384,363.28, depositing the money into her own personal bank accounts.

After leaving her job at the lodge, prosecutors said she became a senior accountant and accounting manager at Redwood Credit Union, where she was employed from 2016 to 2019.

Simontacchi admitted she used her position to embezzle about 35 checks, depositing the money into her personal bank and credit card accounts, along with using the funds to pay a home equity line of credit.

Prosecutors said the checks from the credit union amounted to at least $437,162.24

Along with embezzlement, prosecutors said Simontacchi admitted to evading taxes, filing false tax returns for years 2013-2019.

After being indicted last year, Simontacchi pleaded guilty to bank fraud, misapplication and embezzlement of credit union funds and tax evasion.

Simontacchi is expected to begin her sentence on or before August 11, prosecutors said. She has also been sentenced to serve three years of supervised release once she is out of prison.

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