DOYLESTOWN >> A New Jersey woman will serve up to 20 years in state prison for embezzling more than $400,000 from her employer in Morrisville.
Yolanda M. Torres, 44, of Hamilton, pleaded guilty Tuesday to dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity, theft, identity theft, unlawful use of a computer and computer trespass, admitting she fleeced Shu Dental Laboratory, Inc., of hundreds of thousands of dollars between 2016 and 2018.
Hired as the company’s bookkeeper in July 2016, she began stealing from her workplace almost immediately, issuing unauthorized business checks to herself, her son and other groups with which she was associated, investigators found. She also provided herself unauthorized pay raises and used the company owner’s credit card for personal purchases.
Torres’ thefts, averaging about $650 for every day she was employed, nearly sank the company its owner founded in 1983.
Out of a sense of duty to his employees, the 71-year-old owner of Shu Dental said, he drained his retirement fund to keep the business afloat. Now instead of retiring in May of last year – the 45th anniversary of his move to the United States from China – the company’s owner now says he expects to continue working at least another seven or eight years.
“What took the victim in this case decades to build, Yolanda Torres nearly destroyed in just two years,” said Deputy District Attorney Marc J. Furber. “This defendant is a predator who, starting on day one of her employment, left a trail of destruction in her wake.”
President Judge Wallace H. Bateman Jr. accepted Torres’ plea, and ordered her to serve six to 20 years in state prison followed by 10 years of probation. She also must make restitution of $475,668.
Her sentence is to run concurrent to any other prison sentence she is already serving.
The case was investigated by Bucks County Detectives and the Morrisville Borough Police Department with the assistance of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office. It was prosecuted by First Assistant District Attorney Gregg D. Shore and Deputy District Attorney Marc J. Furber.