Law firm embezzler sentenced to five years

SACRAMENTO — A Herald woman was sentenced Tuesday to more than five years in prison on charges related to the embezzlement of approximately $1.3 million from a Sacramento law firm.

United States District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton made the decree, sentencing 46-year-old to three years and five months in prison to be followed by three years supervised release for computer fraud and filing a false tax return. Schenk was also ordered to pay $1.3 million in restitution to her former employer and $264,000 in restitution to the IRS. She pled guilty Sept. 1.

This case is the product of a joint investigation by the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation unit and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to Assistant United States Attorney Matthew D. Segal, who prosecuted the case, between 2003 and 2008, Schenk wrote law firm checks to pay her own bills, created false documents, and told lies to cause law firm partners to authorize checks that she secretly used to buy five horses and a horse trailer. She used the law firm’s computer network to inflate her salary, give herself bonuses and benefits, and she omitted her fraud-procured income from her tax return.

“Embezzlement is a serious crime that this office will continue to prosecute vigorously,” said U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner, who announced the sentence. “The success of such cases often depends on victims coming forward and reporting what happened. For that reason, the victim in this case is to be commended.”


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