Former Assisted Living Facility Payroll Clerk in Santa Rosa Charged With Stealing $256,000

A Sebastopol woman has been charged with stealing more than $250,000 from an assisted living facility in Windsor where she worked as a payroll clerk, a Sonoma County sheriff's sergeant said Wednesday morning.

Frances Farias, 59, allegedly created 10 fictitious employee accounts at Oakmont Senior Living at 9240 Old Redwood Highway over three years, Sgt. Spencer Crum said.

The payroll accounts included contractor employees who had done work for Oakmont Senior Living and completely fictitious employees, Crum said.

The employee accounts were directed at four different online banking institutions that detectives determined were actually owned by Farias, according to Crum.

Oakmont Senior Living paid the fictitious employees checks totaling more than $256,000 over three years, Crum said.

The grand theft and identity theft investigation began Jan. 13 when the company's management called the sheriff's office to report Farias, the former payroll clerk, funneled funds to secondary fictitious employees, Crum said.

Farias left the company in May 2016. The new payroll clerk noticed the accounting irregularities, which triggered the investigation, Crum said.

Farias was arrested on a $2 million warrant on July 25 at her home where evidence of the scheme was found. She is being investigated for several other fraudulent schemes that could lead to more criminal charges, Crum said.

Farias was arraigned last Thursday on one count of grand theft and four counts of identity theft. She is being held in Sonoma County Jail under $100,000 bail and is scheduled to enter a plea on Aug. 15.

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