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Civilian Employee with Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Charged with Forgery and Grand Theft; Pleads Not Guilty

Roxana Sanchez, a 25-year-old Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department civilian employee, was recently charged with forgery and grand theft, both felony charges.  Sanchez pleaded not guilty on Monday October 28.

Sanchez worked at the Century Regional Detention Facility as a civilian employee according to Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the sheriff’s department.  Whitmore said that when she said she was called up for active duty as a reservist with the U.S. Marines, she lied and forged military activation documents.  Prosecutors in the case claim that Sanchez forged signatures on documents indicating that she would be deployed from March through May.  Ultimately, Sanchez was paid wages by the sheriff’s department while she was allegedly on active military duty.  According to news reports, she was paid just over $1,000 which she should not have been paid due to what authorities call “fraudulent actions.”

Individuals may be charged with a felony offense when forging a document in order to commit fraud.  Considered a white collar crime, fraudulent activity can lead to serious criminal penalties for those convicted.  This case clearly indicates that an individual does not have to commit a violent offense in order to be charged with a crime.

According to Whitmore, the sheriff’s department discovered that something was amiss when they checked up on Sanchez, doing their “due diligence.”  Whitmore claimed that when they called to learn how Sanchez was doing and where she was located, the department was told by the military that they didn’t know what they were talking about.  According to prosecutors, Sanchez kept getting paid, just as the county keeps paying salaries for those who are reservists and called to active duty.  The fraud was soon detected.

Whitmore believes that Sanchez may have been attempting fraudulent activity for up to one year, although he said that he believed the district attorney was charging her for up to three months.

If convicted, Sanchez will face a maximum prison term of three years; a preliminary hearing is scheduled for December.  Sanchez is currently on unpaid leave with the sheriff’s department.

Los Angeles white collar crimes attorneys know that cases involving the alleged forging of documents can be very complex.  The documents in questions must be thoroughly analyzed to determine the authenticity of signatures.  As indicated in this case, the penalties may be severe depending on the facts of the case.  If found guilty, Sanchez may spend up to three years in prison for an act that ultimately led to her gaining $1,000 she was not entitled to.  However, the forging of government, financial, or military documents is a serious offense; obtaining the best possible results can only be accomplished with the guidance and support of a capable and experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer.