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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tracy Woman Sentenced For Embezzling From Health Plan Of San Joaquin And Agilent Technologies

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Shanika Brewer, 35, of Tracy, was sentenced today by Chief United States District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. to two and a half years in prison for wire fraud and embezzlement from a health care program, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. Judge England ordered her to begin her sentence on October 23, 2014. He ordered her to pay $1,248,770 in restitution.

According to court documents, from 2008 until 2011, Brewer worked in the accounts payable department of a Walnut Creek company called Agilent Technologies Inc. Brewer entered false information into the company’s accounting system that caused other departments to issue checks to vendors who provided personal goods and services to Brewer. Brewer took the checks home and mailed them out to pay her student loans, mortgage payments, and home improvements. She also used company funds to pay for her children’s school tuition and to deposit into her personal bank account. Brewer caused more than $1 million worth of checks to be issued for her own benefit.

In December 2012, Brewer was hired by Health Plan of San Joaquin, a publicly sponsored managed care plan administering state-funded Medi-Cal benefits for over 250,000 residents in San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties. As the assistant controller, Brewer began manufacturing false invoices upon which she forged the signatures of other employees. After submitting the invoices, she obtained checks that she took home to use for her own benefit. Brewer caused approximately $100,000 in losses and expenses to Health Plan.

“Shanika Brewer embezzled from two employers, including a health care program, to fund a lavish lifestyle well beyond her means,” said U.S. Attorney Wagner. “Her conviction and this sentence are the result of excellent cooperation between San Joaquin County and the FBI.”

“Brewer abused her position as a trusted employee to craft an elaborate scheme to embezzle over $800,000 over the course of five years. The money was used to support a lifestyle for her and her family that was well beyond her legitimate earnings,” says Special Agent in Charge Monica Miller of the Sacramento Field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

San Joaquin County District Attorney James P. Willett stated: “In this case, a County employee abused the trust we placed in her. As the County auditor was identifying red flags in the false invoices Brewer submitted, Brewer’s credit card company, First Premier Bank of South Dakota, alerted us that County checks were paying Brewer’s personal credit card bill. San Joaquin County District Attorney’s investigators on the case identified similar embezzlement from her immediate past employer. This federal prosecution followed, and we are gratified for the immediate response of the FBI and the US Attorney’s Office in coordination with our investigation of this multi-jurisdictional case.”

This case was the product of an investigation by the San Joaquin County District Attorney Investigations Bureau, IMPACT Unit and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Jean M. Hobler prosecuted the case. The Financial Litigation Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office is taking action to recover funds for Brewer’s victims.

This case was done in connection with the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, established to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. For more information on the task force, please visit www.StopFraud.gov.

Press Release Number: 
Docket #: 2:14-cr-025 MCE
Updated April 8, 2015