SAN FRANCISCO – A former resident of San Mateo pleaded guilty Monday to embezzling more than $1.1 million from a San Francisco law firm, where he worked as an office manager, over a nearly seven-year period, according to federal prosecutors.
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Jairo Tomas Santos, 42, started embezzling from the law firm in March 2016 and continued to do so through February of this year, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.
As part of the scheme, Santos obtained checks from the law firm, made them out to himself and signed each check with the signature of the law firm’s senior partner even though he was not authorized to do so, according to prosecutors. He then deposited the checks into his personal checking accounts at Wells Fargo Bank.
Altogether, Santos deposited 806 checks worth $1,191,683 into his checking accounts, prosecutors said.
A federal jury indicted Santos on July 25, charging him with three counts of bank fraud.
Under the plea agreement, Santos pleaded guilty to just one count, according to prosecutors. The remaining counts will be dismissed at sentencing as long as he adheres to the agreement.
Santos is free on bond and scheduled to return to court for a sentencing hearing on March 12. He faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million, prosecutors said. In addition, a judge could order Santos to serve a term of supervised release and pay restitution.