News and Press Releases

Former Executive at Gourmet Foods Company Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Embezzling over $1 Million from Her Employer

February 13, 2012

LOS ANGELES – A Solvang woman was sentenced today to 30 months in prison for embezzling more than $1 million from her employer, a Santa Barbara-based gourmet food company.

Lisa Sackie, 48, was sentenced by United States District Judge George H. Wu, who also ordered the defendant to pay $1.1 million in restitution to Future Food Brands, the parent company of Santa Barbara Bay Foods.

Sackie pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud in August 2011, admitting that she wrote company checks to herself and to pay for personal expenses.

Sackie served as the vice president and controller of Santa Barbara Bay Foods (SBBF), a nationwide wholesaler and distributor of gourmet food products, from 2004 through 2010. Sackie’s duties included supervision of SBBF’s accounts payable activities, signing checks on behalf of SBBF, handling regulatory matters for SBBF, and serving as SBBF’s de facto on-site plant manager and human resources director.

According to court documents, Sackie caused SBBF to issue a series of checks that did not pay for any business or other legitimate needs of SBBF, but were instead directed to the payment of her own personal expenses. In numerous instances, Sackie concealed her actions by causing SBBF’s accounting system to reflect that checks had been made payable to entities doing legitimate business with SBBF when, in fact, the checks were made payable to herself, her credit card company, and to other entities that offered a benefit to Sackie.

Judge Wu ordered Sackie to report to prison on May 14.

The case against Sackie is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Release No. 12-029

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