Former San Mateo Resident Pleads Guilty To Embezzling More Than $1.1 Million

Former San Mateo resident pleads guilty to embezzling over $1.1 million from a San Francisco law firm. Read about the shocking case and potential penalties.

In a recent development, former San Mateo resident Jairo Tomas Santos has pleaded guilty to embezzling over $1.1 million from a San Francisco law firm. Santos, who previously worked as the firm’s office manager, confessed to writing unauthorized checks to himself over the course of several years. Starting in March 2016 and continuing until February 2023, Santos obtained checks from the law firm, filled in his name as the payee, and forged the signature of the senior partner. These fraudulent checks were then deposited into Santos’ personal bank accounts. Santos admitted to depositing approximately 806 unauthorized checks, totaling around $1,191,683. The maximum statutory penalty for this violation is 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million.

Former San Mateo Resident Pleads Guilty To Embezzling More Than $1.1 Million

Background Information

In a shocking case of embezzlement, Jairo Tomas Santos, a former San Mateo resident, has pleaded guilty to stealing over $1.1 million from a San Francisco-based law firm. Santos was employed as the office manager at the law firm and took advantage of his position to carry out the embezzlement scheme. The scheme lasted from March 2016 to February 2023, during which Santos wrote unauthorized checks to himself and deposited them into his personal accounts.

Details of the Embezzlement Scheme

According to the plea agreement, Santos obtained checks from the law firm and filled out the payee line with his own name, “Jairo Santos.” He then proceeded to sign each check with the signature of the law firm’s senior partner, even though he lacked authorization to do so. Santos deposited approximately 806 fraudulent and unauthorized checks into his personal checking accounts at Wells Fargo Bank, totaling a staggering $1,191,683.

Santos was well aware that these payments were not authorized by the law firm or its senior partner, yet he continued with his deceptive actions throughout the seven-year embezzlement period. This kind of scheme highlights the importance of stringent financial controls and oversight within organizations to prevent such fraudulent activities.

Santos’s Guilty Plea

Jairo Tomas Santos has confessed to his crimes and pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud. The plea was accepted by the Honorable William Alsup, U.S. District Judge in San Francisco federal court. By pleading guilty, Santos acknowledged his responsibility in embezzling over $1.1 million from the law firm he worked for as the office manager.

Indictment and Charges

A federal grand jury indicted Santos on July 25, 2023, charging him with three counts of bank fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1344. However, as part of the plea agreement, Santos pleaded guilty to one count, with the understanding that the remaining counts of bank fraud would be dismissed at the time of his sentencing. This agreement brings some closure to the case and allows for the efficient resolution of the charges.

Potential Penalties

For the bank fraud violation stated under 18 U.S.C. § 1344, the maximum statutory penalty that Santos could face is 30 years in prison and a fine of $1,000,000. Additionally, the court may order an additional term of supervised release and restitution, if deemed appropriate. However, the final sentencing decision will be made by the court, taking into consideration various factors, including the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing sentence imposition.

Sentencing Hearing

Judge Alsup has scheduled Santos’s sentencing hearing for March 12, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. During this hearing, the court will consider all relevant factors before reaching a final decision on the appropriate punishment for Santos’s embezzlement crimes. This includes reviewing the evidence presented, listening to both the prosecution and defense, and weighing the potential impact of the embezzlement on the victims and the community.

Prosecutors and Assistance

The case against Jairo Santos is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christiaan Highsmith, with the assistance of Aarian Beiti. Their dedication to ensuring justice is served in this matter is commendable, and their efforts will play a crucial role in obtaining a fair outcome in the sentencing process.

FBI Investigation

The embezzlement scheme carried out by Jairo Santos came to light as a result of a thorough investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The FBI’s expertise in financial crimes and their commitment to uncovering the truth played a pivotal role in bringing Santos’s fraudulent activities to justice. Their investigation into this case showcases the importance of law enforcement agencies cooperating with the legal system to maintain the integrity of financial institutions and deter potential criminals.

Related Content

To further understand the gravity and impact of Jairo Santos’s embezzlement case, it is essential to explore related content. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California has been actively pursuing justice in several other high-profile cases, including the conviction of David DePape for assault and attempted kidnapping charges, as well as the sentencing of a former Federal Correctional Officer for sexually abusing multiple female inmates. These cases demonstrate the commitment of the U.S. Department of Justice to upholding the law and ensuring the safety and security of the community.

In conclusion, the guilty plea of Jairo Santos in embezzling more than $1.1 million from a San Francisco law firm sheds light on the severe consequences of financial fraud and highlights the need for robust financial controls within organizations. As the legal process unfolds, the sentencing hearing will determine the appropriate penalties to be imposed on Santos, taking into account the evidence and relevant factors. This case also serves as a reminder of the crucial role played by law enforcement agencies like the FBI in investigating financial crimes and maintaining the integrity of our financial systems.