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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.

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