Paso Robles bookkeeper sentenced to prison for embezzlement

February 4, 2019

A Paso Robles woman was sentenced Monday to five-years in prison for embezzling nearly $500,000 from an elderly North County couple. [Cal Coast Times]

Diana Russell, 43, worked as a bookkeeper for Sandra and Ole Viborg’s business. From July 2015 through June 2018,  Russell pilfered money from the Viborgs’ business, according to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office.

Ole Viborg, who was a serial entrepreneur and supporter of many local organizations, died on Sept. 22, 2016 at the age of 84, according to his obituary. Sandra Viborg, 80, was present at Monday’s sentencing hearing.

During the hearing, Sandra and Ole Viborg’s daughter-in-law, Debbie Viborg, said Russell was someone who had been treated and trusted like family and had attended family functions. Following her father-in-law’s death, Russell grieved with the family as they made funeral arrangements.

Yet two days later, Russel bought an expensive diamond ring using money she stole from the family, Debbie Viborg said. The “betrayal has permeated our lives,” she said during the hearing.

Judge Craig van Rooyen echoed the sentiment, saying the case was not only about money stolen, but about the sense of betrayal. Van Rooyen sentenced Russell to five years behind bars for the crime of embezzlement from an elder.

A restitution hearing is scheduled for May 6.

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The Viborgs are wonderful people and the betrayal by this woman is shocking. Frankly she won’t do much time, however, as under realignment it isn’t a serious, violent nor sexual crime. Jails are overcrowded, she’ll be out in no time and don’t count on any restitution. If nothing else, her future Social Security checks should be seized for repayment. But no one at Probation or elsewhere really tracks this.

Update: Bookkeeper sentenced for embezzling funds from local companies

Posted: 7:25 pm, April 8, 2016 by News Staff

Update posted April 8

–A former Paso Robles bookkeeper has been sentenced to five years in state prison Thursday for embezzling over $700,000 from local company Make it Manufacturing and about $55,000 from the Paso Robles Youth Sports Council, a non-profit where she was formerly the treasurer, according to reports. Evidence showed that Serda forged over 450 financial documents to facilitate the embezzlement.

Denna Carol Serda, 56, could potentially be eligible for parole in about a year and a half.

Prime example~~~~ She’s out and living large….

Diana Russell doesn’t have worry, after serving maybe 2 years and filing bankruptcy to get out from the restitution, she can get a job at the IWMA or a number of other agencies who steal public money and of course government sector work is always a possibility.