Ex-bookkeeper gets three-year sentence for embezzling from Paul Hobbs Winery

A former bookkeeper at Paul Hobbs Winery in Graton was sentenced Thursday to serve three years and eight months in prison for embezzling $194,000 from the winery.

Sandra Turner, 65, of Cloverdale, pleaded no contest in June to felony grand theft and two counts of felony forgery.

Prosecutors said she forged nearly 120 checks between 2010 and 2016. She also altered business accounts to make the checks appear to be vendor payments.

A company investigation prompted by an actual vendor’s unpaid invoice revealed the forgeries.

“This was a significant loss to this business,” District Attorney Jill Ravitch said in a statement. Turner built up trust with her employer, Ravitch said, “and simply concealed her crimes over a lengthy period of time.”

Turner’s lawyer has said his client’s crime was driven by an addiction to gambling, and she has paid the winery back the money.

Judge Robert LaForge handed down the sentence.

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