Central Coast woman sentenced for embezzling more than $750,000

June 25, 2024

Neydi Garcia


A Ventura County judge sentenced a Central Coast woman to four years and four months in prison for embezzling more than $750,000, much of which she used to live a lavish lifestyle. 

In Oct. 2016, Neydi Garcia of Camarillo, also known as Neydi Villegas and Neydi Alargunsoro, was hired as an office manager and bookkeeper for a business owner who owned multiplied companies throughout Ventura County. Garcia, now 41, was hired to help manage the employer’s business and personal financial accounts. 

During Garcia’s employment, the victim’s certified public accountant noticed significant discrepancies in bank deposits handled by Garcia, prompting an investigation into the missing funds being launched in 2019. In May 2019, Garcia was fired from her job. 

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Major Fraud Unit conducted an extensive investigation. Then on Oct. 18, 2020, authorities obtained a warrant for Garcia’s arrest.

Over the approximately three years Garcia worked for the victim, she embezzled about $750,000. The embezzlement included unauthorized purchases on the victim’s business credit card. 

Garcia took her family on lavish vacations to Europe, Mexico, Nashville and Las Vegas. She also paid personal cell phone bills, bought jewelry, paid collection agencies and made purchases from high-end retailers, including Gucci, Chanel and Louis Vuitton. 

Additionally, Garcia made Automated Clearing House transactions to pay her mortgage and personal credit card bills. Furthermore, she stole cash from a business owned by the victim. 

On top of stealing from the business owner, in Sept. 2018, Garcia contacted a co-worker about a short-term loan to qualify for a mortgage used to purchase a house. Investigators discovered Garcia used the co-worker’s information and signature to make false presentations about her own credit worthiness. The co-worker did not give Garcia permission to utilize her name or information in the letter to the mortgage company.

Garcia did not report any of the money she stole on her California income taxes, prosecutors say.

On May 26, 2023, Garcia pleaded guilty to seven felony counts of grand theft from her employer, one felony count of identity theft and one felony count of filing a false or fraudulent tax return. Garcia admitted she stole more than $500,000. Likewise, she admitted to several special allegations and aggravating factors, including that Garcia took advantage of a position of trust and carried out the crime with planning, sophistication and professionalism. 

Restitution in the case was initially determined to be $750,000. Between her guilty plea and sentencing hearing, Garcia repaid the victim $300,000. At sentencing, the judge ordered Garcia to pay an additional $662,654 in restitution to the victim and $221,530 in restitution, interest and penalties to the California Franchise Tax Board.

“Despite having treated the defendant like a family member, the defendant stole from the victim hundreds of times,” Senior Ventura County Deputy District Attorney Howard Wise said in a statement. “It reminds us that even trusted employees can abuse the confidence placed in them.”


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SO now she is in prison, where she belongs of course! But with no job and felonies, when she gets out of prison, where will she be able to make enough $ to pay restitution? They need to keep a close eye on this lady!! Do you think desperate enough she would try to do it again? Bet she’ll change her name again….

The lesson is that audits should be ongoing, even for the most ‘trusted’ and long-term employees. I have seen several of these theft scenarios over the years. It is always the same: a prosperous business owned by a single (male) owner and with a trusted female bookkeeper/office manager doing the stealing. Audit, audit, audit.

So she gets 4 1/3 years in prison over $750,000. How much of a sentence (if any) will John Belsher receive after swindling MILLIONS?

My favorite line in this article is: “Garcia did not report any of the money she stole on her California income taxes, prosecutors say.” Hilarious!

How could this be? She was the nicest, happiest, friendly, helpful employee in the company. She was always early to work and stayed long after others had gone, always willing to drop the cash deposits on her way home and did all the purchasing and ordering for the company. Took on new responsibilities without complaint, never even eluded that she deserved a pay raise.

Model employee.