Ex-Cupertino Accountant Arrested for 18-Year Embezzlement Scheme
A former senior accountant for the City of Cupertino has been arrested and charged with 68 felony counts related to an alleged scheme to steal nearly $800,000 from taxpayers.
Prosecutors say 66-year-old Jennifer Chang stole money from the city over an 18-year period until her retirement in 2015. Taking advantage of an antiquated accounting system which has since been updated, they say she drafted $791,494 in checks to non-existent vendors and then pocketed the money herself. She is believed to have acted alone.
The theft was discovered in April when city staff began an in-depth review of the city’s old financial records. The large checks, which accompanied no supporting documentation, immediately raised red flags.
“I am very appreciative of the efforts of our current Finance Division employees who uncovered this scheme,” Interim City Manager Amy Chan said in a statement. “They did their due diligence by continuing a review of the city’s past financial accounts to ensure all are appropriately reconciled.”
Mayor Darcy Paul called Chang’s actions “unacceptable and disappointing” and said the city is “working to ensure that we have the highest safeguards against fiscal corruption.”