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Ex-bookkeeper at Paul Hobbs Winery charged with embezzling $190,000

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An ex-bookkeeper of Paul Hobbs Winery in Graton is charged with embezzling more than $190,000 from the company while she worked there, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Sandra Turner, 64 of Cloverdale, faces more than eight years in prison if convicted of wrongdoing from 2010 to 2016.

Prosecutors allege Turner wrote checks to herself from company accounts but altered the books to make it look like she was paying vendors. She is accused of taking the money in increments of about $1,000 on a regular basis.

“It was all for personal use,” prosecutor Amy Ariyoshi said.

The theft was discovered by a co-worker last spring and referred to the Sheriff’s Office for investigation. Turner was later fired and arraigned on embezzlement and forgery charges Monday, Ariyoshi said.

She is expected to enter a plea April 6.

Her lawyer, Evan Zelig, said Turner admitted the theft to her ex-employer and has already paid back the money. He said the embezzlement was driven by her addiction to gambling, which caused her to act out of character.

You can reach Staff Writer Paul Payne at 568-5312 or paul.payne@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @ppayne.

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