Sunday, April 22 , 2018, 12:30 am | Fair 55º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Santa Ynez Woman Admits She Defrauded Ex-Employer

A Santa Ynez woman has pled guilty to 16 felony counts for allegedly defrauding two local property-management companies while she was an employee.

Gina Vrastil, 50, entered the pleas this week to charges including felony theft from an elder, felony perjury, and multiple counts of felony grand theft by embezzlement, forgery of checks and preparing false documentary evidence, Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley announced Tuesday.

Dudley said a joint investigation between the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department and DA investigator Chris Clement revealed that Vrastil embezzled approximately $45,000 from MGF Enterprises and MGF Property Management Inc. while working as an administrative assistant for the Solvang companies.

Using her position — with access to the company checkbooks and accounting program — Vrastil began writing herself unauthorized checks in August 2011 and then made false entries into the company books to hide the thefts, Dudley said.

The crimes continued until July 2012, when they were discovered by the companies and reported to the Sheriff's Department.

Dudley noted that the DA’s Office did not offer Vrastil a plea bargain.

Vrastil faces up to nine years and eight months in state prison when she is sentenced March 3 in Santa Barbara Superior Court in Santa Maria.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.


Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >