San Francisco payroll clerk, ex-colleague sentenced in embezzlement case 

click to enlarge Hannah Yau, left, and Maria Lourdes Dionisio were sentenced to five years for embezzling more than $2.5 million from their employer.
  • Hannah Yau, left, and Maria Lourdes Dionisio were sentenced to five years for embezzling more than $2.5 million from their employer.

The San Francisco payroll clerk who was caught embezzling from her former employer after she reported the stolen income on unemployment insurance forms was sentenced last week, along with a former co-worker, to five years in prison, prosecutors said Friday.

Maria Lourdes Dionisio, 48, of Pacifica and financial analyst Hannah Yau, 58, of Fremont both pleaded guilty in September to charges that they stole more than $2.5 million from their former employer, Autonomy Inc., a global software programming company with offices at Market and Spear streets.

On Tuesday, Judge Bruce Chan sentenced Dionisio and Yau to nearly the maximum prison term for the charges they faced. As part of their sentence, they were ordered to pay back every last cent of what they stole.

Prosecutors said the embezzling happened over four years. Dionisio reportedly sent large, unauthorized bonus checks to herself and Yau. In May 2010, Dionisio was fired by the company for an unrelated reason. While filing for unemployment benefits, she reportedly listed an annual salary of $449,740 — a far cry from her $63,000 base salary.

That tipped off corporate officers, who alerted authorities. A subsequent investigation revealed that “bonus checks far in excess of those authorized” were issued to Dionisio. Yau also received bonus checks and never alerted her employer about the theft, prosecutors said.

Dionisio and Yau were arrested July 28, 2010. When announcing the charges, the pair were described as the “foxes guarding the hen house” by then-District Attorney Kamala Harris.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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