RICHMOND, TX – A Fort Bend County jury sentenced a 46-year-old Rosenberg woman to 65 years in prison after convicting her of theft and misuse of trust property on May 19, according to the county prosecutor’s office. Fort Bend.
Leslie Garcia was prosecuted for stealing money from her employer for two years – and following an earlier conviction for the same behavior, according to the DA.
Garcia worked in accounts payable for a company in Sugar Land, the statement said. She was one of the highest paid office workers, but still stole $288,846.92 from the company over 22 months. She opened a bank account and deposited 29 unauthorized checks into it before her scheme was discovered.
In 2008, Garcia, then known as Leslie Garcia Mendez, was sentenced to eight years in prison for stealing $106,000 from a Rosenberg, Texas business, again through unauthorized checks, as well only for giving himself an unauthorized pay raise and two unauthorized loans before being discovered by the owners, according to the DA. She was released from parole just 47 days before she began robbing the victim in the Sugar Land case. The business owners testified that they were unaware of Ms Garcia’s prior conviction.
Garcia testified at trial to deny being fired by the victims, opening the fraudulent bank account, and accessing any of the funds in that account.
“The defendant tried to blame others for her choices, but bank statements and certified official documents don’t lie,” lead prosecutor Susan Sweeney said. “The defendant knew that her prior conviction could result in a long prison term if she embezzled money again, but still chose to breach another employer’s trust again and again.”
District Attorney Brian Middleton added, “White-collar crime is costly to victims and to the economy. Investigating and prosecuting these crimes is time consuming and complicated. I commend the investigators and prosecutors who have worked hard to bring the accused to justice. Leslie Garcia betrayed the trust of her employers and her sentence was appropriate given her criminal history and the harm she caused.
Garcia was tried in the 400th District Court before Presiding Judge Tameika Carter. Because Garcia was previously convicted of a crime, her sentence was increased to 5 to 99 years, or life, in prison.
Garcia was sentenced to 30 years in prison for theft and 35 years for misapplication of fiduciary duty. The sentences will be served concurrently. The jury also imposed the maximum fine of $10,000 on both counts.
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