Former Giants employee who embezzled $2.2 million to be sentenced 

click to enlarge O'Connor's lawyer says the payroll manager was driven to embezzle by debts and family issues. - SF EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • SF Examiner file photo
  • O'Connor's lawyer says the payroll manager was driven to embezzle by debts and family issues.

A former San Francisco Giants payroll manager who embezzled $2.2 million from the team should qualify for probation and not federal prison due to health and marital problems, massive debt and having to care for a young special needs child, her attorney argues.

Robin O’Connor siphoned money from the team and its employees and transferred it to her own bank accounts between June 2010 and June 2011, prosecutors said. The team discovered the embezzlement and fired O’Connor on July 6. She pleaded guilty in November to one count of wire fraud.

Prosecutors want O’Connor, 42, of American Canyon, sentenced to 33 months in prison.  But O’Connor’s attorney argued in court filings that her client had been under significant stress when she began embezzling the money, including physical health problems and depression.

O’Connor believed her marriage was breaking up and “was terrified” her husband would take custody of her sons, “for she did not think she could support her children on her own as well as pay off her debts,” attorney Rita Bosworth wrote. One of the children is diagnosed with autism.

Bosworth also cited her client’s “horrific upbringing” in Virginia, which included a mother addicted to drugs and alcohol, an absent father, evenings locked in her bedroom without food, and chemical burns from being forced to clean the home.

O’Connor’s circumstances did not excuse her crime, Bosworth said.

“In hindsight, it is hard for her to explain why she did it, as she knows it was clearly so wrong,” Bosworth wrote.

Bosworth asked for five years probation, one year of which would be served in home confinement.

Prosecutors said in a sentencing memo that despite the fact that O’Connor returned $960,000 of the money and has promised to make restitution for the rest, only some of the embezzled funds were used to pay off debt.

“She also spent significant funds for unrelated lifestyle enhancement purposes,” prosecutors wrote. O’Connor’s plea deal also includes the forfeiture of two vehicles, a BMW and a Ford Raptor pickup truck, and $565,000 seized from three bank accounts.

Sentencing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Monday before U.S. District Court Judge James Ware.

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