Million dollar embezzlement scheme uncovered by AP audit

A former controller of a law firm and real estate company in San Rafael, California, has been arrested and charged with embezzlement after an accounts payable audit revealed that more than $1 million had been stolen from the the company.

According to Loan Safe, Jodi Azevedo was apprehended by the San Rafael Police Department, which was alerted to the theft after the Plastiras and Terrizzi law firm discovered the scheme from an AP audit conducted internally. Investigators allege that Azevedo stole approximately $1.5 million from the firm and its affiliated real estate company, Parkway Properties Investment Corporation. She managed to embezzle the amount by writing herself unauthorized checks from the companies' corporate accounts and then attempting to cover up the illegal activity by falsifying financial records, the source reports.

The accounts payable audit was launched after Azevedo's superiors noticed several discrepancies within the records, states the Marin Independent Journal. Executives at the law firm say they are shocked at the theft, as Azevedo was a trusted employee who worked for the firm for over 16 years. The news source writes that she is currently facing three counts of embezzlement and 43 counts of grand theft, as well as a civil lawsuit from Plastiras and Terrizzi.

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