Robin M. O’Connor (42) of American Canyon, formerly held the position of payroll manager for the San Francisco Giants baseball team. O’Connor pleaded guilty in Federal court (San Francisco) to wire fraud.
Circumstances of the Crime
O’Connor admitted to diverting pay which was meant for her fellow employees and some of the players. She created false paychecks, reduced worker’s tax withholdings without their permission, depositing the stolen money in her personal account. The embezzlement scheme began in June 2010 and ended in June 2011.
The Giants paid O’Connor an annual base salary of $80,000 and she was eligible to receive additional bonuses. Her job was to process the payroll for all Giants’ employees and was in charge of making changes to the monetary amounts sent to the bank accounts of employees.
O’Connor was confronted by team executives in July after they were notified by Bank of America about a loan she had applied for. They were notified as her accounts had recently received two big deposits from the Giants. She had also forged a letter from the Giants claiming to have given her the large sums of money.
Punishment and Restitution
O’Connor was arrested on July 8th, 2011 and was released on bail for $500,000. Her sentencing is scheduled for March 5th, 2012. United States District Court Judge, James Ware, will be presiding over the case. She has already paid $608,000 restitution to the Giants. O’Connor will forfeit her BMW 335 and Ford F-150 pick up truck. More than $465,000 was seized from three of her bank accounts.
What is Wire Fraud?
Wire fraud is committed when a person has devised or is intending to devise a scheme to defraud or obtain money or property through fraudulent means. It refers to promises, representations, transmits or causes which are made through wire, television or radio communication, within the United States or in foreign commerce. Any signs, writing, signals, sounds or pictures for the purpose of executing such a scheme is fined under Title 18, Part I, Chapter 63, and Article 1343 of the United States Code.
The penalty amounts to 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 (or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater) and restitution. In some cases, both penalties are imposed.