Filipina arrested on $2.6 million embezzlement and grand theft charges

A Filipina payroll clerk named Maria Lourdes Dionisio, 46, from Pacifica in California was arrested on July 28 on charges of embezzlement and grand theft worth $2.6 million, reports According to the report, Dionisio and 56-year-old financial analyst Hannah Yau wrongfully wrote themselves checks for about four years, amounting to $2.6 million in losses for their former employer, international software company Autonomy Inc.

For reasons unrelated to the charges, Dionisio was fired in May. It was then that the alleged embezzlement was sniffed out; Dionisio listed an annual salary of $449,740 instead of her base salary of $63,000 when she filed for unemployment insurance.

District Attorney Kamala Harris said in a report by, "This case involves an employee who allegedly embezzled from her company and then brazenly claimed her ill-gotten gains as legal compensation in order to inflate her unemployment benefits."

She added, as reported by, "To pull off a fraud of this magnitude over a number of years is about more than just being a rogue employee. There is a level of planning and sophistication involved here that makes this crime especially egregious."

At the San Francisco Superior Court on July 29, Dionisio and Yau pleaded not guilty and said they could not afford their lawyers. Bail was set at $1 million for each of them. If found guilty, they could be imprisoned for up to six years.

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